Costa Rica hold Messi-less Argentina
Argentina's FIFA Ballon d'Or winner had suffered a groin strain in training with his national team and coach Sergio Batista elected not to risk the Barcelona forward. That proved an annoyance to the supporters at the new Estadio Nacional who had hoped to see the superstar in action.
Instead they saw Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas frustrate the Argentinians, who also drew with USA at the weekend. Costa Rica, who drew with China at the weekend, benefited from the absence of Messi as the visitors struggled to create chances.
Goalkeeper Navas was largely inactive in the first half but after the interval he did well to turn away a shot from Fernando Belluschi at the expense of a corner. With eight minutes remaining, he saved a close-range effort from Javier Pastore and then had a touch of luck later on when he deflected away a shot from Marcos Rojo with his knees.
Argentina defender Gabriel Milito told TyC Sports the final score was not important, with this summer's Copa America the team's main goal. "Everything is useful to gain experience playing together," Milito said. "When we play the Copa America, we'll be together for a longer time and we'll improve some aspects."