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England are game's mother - Pinto

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23 Jun 2014 18:01:52

England are game's mother - Pinto

England are the "mother of football" in the view of Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto, who knows they will be desperate to restore some pride in their last World Cup match.

Roy Hodgson's side had their elimination confirmed on Friday, with defeats to Italy and Uruguay compounded by Los Ticos' shock wins against both countries.

This is the first time in 56 years that England have exited at the group stage, with the squad jetting home after Tuesday's dead-rubber against Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte, a city which witnessed one of the national team's most embarrassing defeats.

In 1950, the Three Lions lost 1-0 to the then-amateur United States and the Brazilian city could now be the scene of another of their darkest hours.

England have never lost all three World Cup group matches before - a fate Pinto knows they will be desperate to avoid on Tuesday.

"The mother of football cannot leave without points and that makes it very complex," the Costa Rica coach said.

"It makes the match very hard. England must take some pride out of Brazil. They cannot just leave with crossed arms.

"This means it will be a head-to-head, a one-to-one match. Those who come into the team will give their all and fight for their position. We want to be number one in the group and we deserve to be it.

"It seems to be that maybe England were taken by surprise. They haven't been lucky in finding the goal. They came to the box many times but did not score the goal.

"Above everything they will have pride. This will be aggressive. We will attack and have our own style of play. We will continue to do what we have done so far."

Pinto is planning to make two alterations from the side that beat Italy for the match at the Estadio Mineirao, where the country of 4.8million will see their last-16 opponents decided.

"It can have a huge impact in Costa Rica," Pinto said. "We went through critical moments and that has given us confidence and stabilised us emotionally. We want more.

"That is our dream and we are prepared physically, tactically and mentally to do that.

"It will be more complicated from here. Our opponents have seen us, they know us, what we have and what we don't have. We've improved."

So impressive have Costa Rica been in Brazil that the country's football federation has felt hard done to by the drug testers

Rather than two players being drug-tested, seven were required for doping control after their shock 1-0 defeat of Italy - something FIFA said was necessary because some players had been unavailable for pre-tournament tests.

"We feel there's a good faith and we thank them for the letter but we feel uncomfortable," Pinto said.

"Public opinion ended up thinking what do they fear? Do it every day, go to the training sessions, do controls but don't give the idea there is something.

"The team will continue to run, we're very well prepared. I would like to see eight Brazilian players tested, that the attitude is balanced.

"We're not saying they shouldn't do it but many felt they were doing this because they saw the players run. This group of players are crystalline pure, and that's it."


PA

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