WORLD CUP 2006: Colombian replaces Sampson as Costa Rica coach

Costa Rica has hired as its national team coach Colombian Jorge Luis Pinto to replace American Steve Sampson, who was dismissed after Costa Rica relied on the away-goals rule to beat Cuba in second-round qualifying play for the 2006 World Cup.

Pinto, 51, has coached eight clubs in three countries (Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru) over the last two decades. He guided Millonarios of Colombia and Alianza Lima of Peru to their league's runner-up titles during the 1998 and 1999-2000 seasons, respectively. He also coached Alianza Lima to the Peruivan league title in 1997.

Costa Rica is currently preparing for the Copa America, in which it will compete in Group C with Brazil, Chile and Paraguay at the Copa America in Peru (July 6-25).

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