Ladan Bosso, Nigeria coach: "Any team
that's in this kind of tournament deserves respect, so we knew
it would be a tough game. And, we weren't wrong. However, we
showed commitment and quality and we got what we needed. In the
first half we played using a 4-4-2, but in the second half we
wanted to force matters and control the midfield, so we switched to
4-3-3 and forced a goal.
Every minute is important, and we demand that our players play that way. We have a large number of amateur players from Nigeria in this team, and so they are a little immature. And the problem with them is that sometimes they don't have the confidence when taking their chances. Right now, our problem is finishing, and that's something we'll have to work on before the next match."
Geovanni Alfaro, Costa Rica coach:
"There's a sense of frustration and even pain associated
with this loss. Both sides had opportunities, and I think we did
enough to not deserve to lose. I think Nigeria played a very good
match, and they took advantage of the opportunity that they had,
and we did not do the same. And as the runners-up at the last World
Cup, they certainly commanded our respect going in. I don't
think we respected them too much, but we did start slowly. It seems
to me that in the first half we didn't move or control the ball
enough, and so we made some adjustments. and in the second half we
did much better and created some good opportunities.
Whenever you have a competition like this with young players, there's always situations that they haven't been in before. Initially we left a lot of spaces between our lines, and Nigeria were doing well at taking advantage of that. I think it was good contest between two quality teams. We are a team with good options, and we still control our own destiny. Yes, Nigeria took advantage of us on a free-kick, which puts us in a hard spot, but we can still win our next two games and qualify for the next round."
Cesar Elizondo Quesada, Costa Rica forward: "We are disappointed because we knew we could win the match. The difference in the game was that we didn't take our chances and Nigeria did. I think we did well, and worked hard. But, everybody wants to win, and in the end that's what matters, and we didn't do that. I think we can beat Japan if we play like we did today, so we will just need to train and focus like we have been all along, and we will be fine."