Costa Rica and Paraguay battled to a scoreless draw Saturday afternoon during Group A action of the Copa America Centenario.
14,334 was the announced attendance at Camping World Stadium. With a 5 p.m. kickoff time and recorded heat index of 100 degrees, the game was officially stopped twice for a water break.
The timing and weather didn’t please both sides of the aisle.
“First of all, from our point of view, it’s crazy to play at the time we played,” Paraguay coach Ramon Angel Diaz told reporters after the game. “I personally think there should be more of a consideration to the players because they’re part of the game. I’ve been in football for many years, and I know there are TV rights and these kickoff times are hard to play, but there has to be some consideration.”
The Ticos went down a player in stoppage time after Kendall Waston’s foul on a Paraguayan player resulted into Waston’s expulsion of the game.
Waston, who plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps, will miss Costa Rica’s pivotal game against the United States on Tuesday at Soldier Field in Chicago.
“I think both teams felt the hot weather,” said Waston. “You could see that both teams tried to have the ball slowly to the back because if we pressure and try to play a rush game, we’re not going to have legs, so we have to play smart with the weather.”
The USMNT fell 2-0 to Colombia during Friday’s tournament opener in Levi’s Stadium in California.
Colombia leads Group A with three points. Costa Rica and Paraguay follow with one point each and the United States with no points recorded yet.
The Copa America returns to Orlando on Monday for Panama vs. Bolivia. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Paraguay Starting XI: Villar; Gomez, Valdez, Samudio, Da Silva; Ortiz, Lezcano, Romero, Piris Da Motta; Gonzalez, Lezcano.
Costa Rica Starting XI: Pemberton; Matarrita, Duarte, Acosta, Waston, Gamboa; Borges, Ruiz, Campbell, Tejeda; Urena.
(Photos courtesy of Jeremy Reper)
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