Colombia win bolsters confidence says scorer Ramos

SAN SALVADOR DE JUJUY, Argentina, July 2, 2011 (AFP) - Match-winner Adrian Ramos said Colombia's 1-0 defeat of Costa Rica in their Copa America opener was a major boost ahead of the Group A clash with hosts Argentina.

"It's great to start off with a win -- it's a real confidence boost," said Ramos, of German side Hertha Berlin, after converting neatly from a through-ball by Porto's Freddy Guarin.

AFP - Colombia's Hugo Rodallega gestures during the match against Costa Rica on July 2, 2011

With Argentina, held 1-1 in their curtain-raiser by Bolivia, next up on Wednesday, Ramos said the three points were a boon -- though he said the margin should have been wider, as Hernan Dario Gomez's side wasted several chances.

"We were good in parts and bad in parts too, but the important thing was to win," said the 25-year-old, who has been making a name for himself in the Bundesliga for two years since arriving from America de Cali.

Noting Bolivia's stirring start against the Argentinians, Ramos added: "We will have to train hard to make sure we are prepared."

Costa Rica goalkeeper Leonel Moreira, who made a strong of fine saves, was only playing after first-choice Esteban Alvarado of Dutch side AZ Alkmaar left the squad to return to Europe last week to face allegations of spousal abuse.

But he proved a star turn and refused to accept that the special guests, replacing original invitees Japan, were now on their way out of the tournament.

"This loss has made things a bit tougher but we still have two games to go," he said.

Under the three groups of four format, the two best third-placed finishers can reach the quarter-finals, meaning the 'Ticos' still have every chance.

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