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Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK

Ticos losing media support

By Rodrigo Amaral
BBC Sport Online

The Costa Rican media were less than impressed following the national side's defeat by Japanese league side Nagoya Grampus Eight on Tuesday.

Newspaper la Republica described the 2-0 reverse as a "harsh upset to the team".

And El Heraldo commented that the team lacked pace, something which the players seemed to agree with.

" The important thing is that we will be at our best in the World Cup "
Alexandre Guimaraes

Midfielder Wilmer Lopez was quoted as saying: "Our biggest problem was their speed. We are used to playing a slower paced game and moving the ball more steadily."

Coach Alexandre Guimaraes was disappointed that his players could not raise the tempo of heir game.

But he said: "The important thing is that we will be at our best in the World Cup."

One major boost for Costa Rica was the 45-minute appearance of Paulo Wanchope - the first time he has played in over two months following knee surgery.

"I think he was all right, considering how long he has been out for," Guimaraes said. "He troubled their defence and created space for others to get into the box."

Wanchope predicted that the team would improve once the finals get underway.

"We couldn't play at a faster pace because we did such heavy training during the week," he said. "The team will be much different in the World Cup."

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