Costa Rica’s Ronald Matarrita leaves FIFA World Cup after injury


San Jose: Costa Rica’s defender Ronald Matarrita will not play in the 2018 World Cup Russia due to a right hamstring injury, and has been replaced on Thursday by Kenner Gutierrez, the Costa Rican Football Federation said in San Petersburg.

According to the official medical report, the New York City FC player has suffered a “grade-one injury” to his right hamstring, the same area where he has a history of a previous injury, the federation explained in a press release.

The recovery period is estimated to be at least two weeks, prompting coach Oscar Ramirez to replace him with another player, Kenner Gutierrez, currently a defender of Costa Rica’s football club Alajuelense, who is set to travel to Russia for the 2018 World Cup within the coming hours.

According to the Federation, Gutierrez will join the Costa Rican national team on June 16 in the Russian city of Samara ahead of his World Cup debut on June 17 in a match against Serbia.

Matarrita is the first player that the team has lost due to injury since the coach revealed the final squad list.

The left-back position was previously played by Bryan Oviedo of Sunderland AFC, for which Matarrita was considered an appropriate substitute and even more advanced player when it comes to an offensive game plan.

The Costa Rican national team plays in group E, along with Brazil, Serbia, and Switzerland.

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