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Costa Rica intent on pulling off opening game upset

Written by: Staff

CONCHAL, Costa Rica, May 13 (Reuters) Costa Rica believe they can pull off an upset when they face hosts Germany in the World Cup's opening game on June 9.

''We have a clear chance of winning, not just participating,'' forward Cristian Bolanos said.

Costa Rica, who also face Ecuador and Poland in the group stage, have qualified for their second consecutive World Cup.

''The pressure is going to be more on them, with the expectations of their crowd,'' defender Carlos Johnson added.

''We have nothing to lose....The team feels very motivated.'' The Ticos made the second round in their first World Cup appearance in Italy in 1990 on the strength of wins against Scotland and Sweden.

The Costa Rican side is spending a week in a beach resort in the Pacific Coast town of Conchal because coach Alexandre Guimaraes believes a relaxed atmosphere will allow them to recharge batteries in preparation for the World Cup, team spokesman Marvin Hidalgo said.

Reuters DH RN2123

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