Costa Rica have opted to rest superstar Bryan Ruiz in their opening Gold Cup game against Cuba, and so far, their caution has not been punished. The Ticos are much better than their opponents so far and they hold a well-deserved 2-0 lead at halftime.
When the lineups came out, it wasn't entirely obvious to the casual follower what the Ticos were thinking. Ruiz was out and six of the players in the lineup are listed on their roster as defenders. Their setup has been a 3-5-2 with the ball and a 4-4-2 without it, which has been very entertaining and impressive. The keys are Celso Borges and Bryan Oviedo dictating the pace in the middle, and they've been great so far.
The first goal was created by Borges, who sprayed a long ball from a deep position in midfield to the left wing in the 7th minute. Christian Bolaños ran onto it and put a cross into the box for Marco Ureña, who finished with an impressive toe-poke. The second goal was also assisted by Bolaños, who played a through ball to Alvaro Saborio in the 41st minute, the big striker ran onto the ball and thanks to some poor positioning by Cuba's goalkeeper, finished easily to put his team up 2-0 headed into halftime.