Costa Rica will be hoping to atone for their blip at the CONCACAF Gold Cup when they face the Dominican Republic in a friendly on Wednesday.
Jorge Luis Pinto's side had enjoyed an excellent 2013 before bowing out of the Gold Cup at the quarter-final stage against Honduras.
Prior to that though, Costa Rica were in stunning form, winning 10 of their first 14 matches of the calendar year, and they will be confident of continuing that form on the road in Sabana Larga in this fixture.
They sit second in the fourth and final round of the CONCACAF federation’s FIFA World Cup qualifying – sandwiched in between the USA and Mexico – and are well placed to reach the 2014 event in Brazil as a result.
And although they dropped three places in the last edition of the FIFA rankings to 42nd, they started the year in 66th, indicating just how rapid their improvement has been.
Key to Costa Rica's form has been a spread of goalscorers, with 11 different players netting for them this year, while Columbus Crew striker Jairo Arrieta has been a constant threat.
In Fulham's Bryan Ruiz and AIK's Celso Borges, Costa Rica have genuine match-winners in their team and Pinto has spoken about how happy he was with his team's development.
Of Costa Rica's year, Pinto said: "It's very pleasing.
"There's no doubt about it. We're delighted that we've fulfilled the criteria of the people who do the ranking and that we've climbed our way up.
"I hope we get that chance to go to the World Cup. I'm convinced we're on the right track and we'll keep on battling."
Costa Rica will host the USA in a crucial World Cup qualifier in September before travelling to Jamaica for a match just four days later.
The Dominican Republic have played just once in 2013 with their attempt to qualify for the World Cup ending in 2011’s second round.
That fixture was a 3-1 friendly win over Haiti in March, in which Kerbi Rodriguez, Jonathan Fana and Mariano Diaz all scored.
The island nation, ranked 86th in the world have never played Costa Rica before in an international fixture.
|Coach: C. Hernández|
for S. Lustenberger 61'
for H. Barmettler 88'
for D. Peralta 90'
for J. Faña 90'
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