International Friendlies: Belgium vs Costa Rica, 5 Talking Points
The FIFA World Cup is just two days away and the International Friendly weeks are finally wrapping up with almost all the teams making their journeys to the host nation, Russia. Both the World Cup Participant sides, Belgium and Costa Rica finally ended the Friendly Campaign in a fixture against each other, with the European side coming out on top with a rather easy 4-1 victory over the South Americans.
Where Belgians had a rather decent run in their friendly campaign, in which they remained unbeaten for 17 consecutive games, Costa Ricans had a Bittersweet overall outcome. They registered a victory against Northern Island, however, lost 2-0 at the hands of England and now 4-1 against Belgium. But both the sides have their best elements which they can and need to utilize in order to get positive outcomes in the World Cup.
5 major aspects on which we can measure both the World Cup sides' performances against each other and also in the previous friendly games are:
#5 Chance Creation
If we look at the stats, Belgium took a total of 21 shots at goal with 9 on target and 4 finding the back of the net. Costa Rica only had 2 shots at goal, with 1 being an off-target attempt and another being the opening goal of the game and for the Ricans. This definitely throws light on the clear disparity in abilities of both the sides in creating and converting chances.
Belgium has the world's finest playmakers playing in the midfield area as well as on the flanks, who somehow find space between the opposing defenders and are able to play the ball upfront, thus increasing the probability of scoring goals. This is definitely a standout point for the European side, which can create recurring troubles for the opposition.
Costa Rica has had problems creating plays throughout their friendly campaign and is definitely something that they need to work on to progress in their World Cup group. Instead of playing worthless long passes and crosses, the team should maximize the number of short passes and through balls, they play in the game. This may definitely work in getting the preferred outcome for the side. Dribbling needs a lot of work on the part of players as well.