Costa Rica aim to bring regional domination to the world stage.
FIFA U20 World Cup
29 July - 20 August 2011
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Samuel Philip Steinbock
Though regional heavyweights Mexico prevented Costa Rica from holding onto their CONCACAF crown at Guatemala 2011, there can be no denying that youth football in Costa Rica has made notable progress in recent years.
With a CONCACAF U-20 Championship in the cabinet as well as reaching the final two years later, Los Ticos' have plenty to be excited about regarding their future.
However, their record in FIFA U-20 World Cups is something they hope to improve on. They have made it past the group stage on two occasions, first of all reaching the round of 16 in Ghana, 1999 and then finishing fourth in Egypt 2009 where they failed to score a penalty in the shoot-out to Hungary.
Qualification for Colombia 2011 was relatively easy, securing 3-0 wins over Guadeloupe and Canada before booking their passage to the global showpiece with a 6-1 quarter-final thrashing of Cuba.
They then went on to beat hosts Guatemala 2-1 in the semi-final in a tight affair, before losing 3-1 to Mexico. However, they bagged themselves 15 goals and conceded just five - of which three came in the final.
They have a clinical finisher in their ranks, 17-year-old Joel Campbell who scored six times in qualifying, averaging over a goal a game. The side have speed and creativity going forward that set them apart from the other nations and their willingness to work hard without the ball was evident in Guatemala and will be on show in Colombia.