14/06/2014 : World Cup 2014 Blog : Costa Rica Cause Rethink On England's Group
14 June 2014 : Costa Rica Cause Rethink On England's Group
So much of the coverage of Englandís group at the World Cup had seen Group D as more of a three-team group, but that will certainly need rethinking as Costa Rica came from behind to earn a sensational win that will completely change the dynamic of this group now. A Cavani penalty gave Uruguay a half-time lead but goals from Joel Campbell, Oscar Duarte, and Marco Urena sealed a magnificent victory.

Judging by much of the first half, this match seemed like it could well be a drab affair, in comparison to the scintillating football we have already been spoilt with this tournament. In hot and humid conditions, it was understandable that the tempo of the match was quite slow and neither team made much early running. The first chance came when the ball deflected fortunately for an unchallenged Cavani but he scooped that good chance just over the crossbar. Soon after, a free kick was floated into the Costa Rican penalty area and the referee signalled a penalty, seemingly for a handball, but the Uruguayan defender was the one whose hand touched the ball - so another ghastly decision?

Actually, the referee had made the right call as the replay showed a Costa Rican dragging down the same defender. Cavani placed the penalty superbly inside of Navasí left post despite the Costa Rican goalkeeper going the correct way. Costa Ricaís first real chance came when Arsenalís Joel Campbell attempted a very long range drive which flew narrowly wide. The underdogs came close again when Muslera completely missed the ball after leaping to punch from a corner and Gonzalez miscued his diving header just wide. In the next attacking move, a weak Diego Forlan shot spun off a defender and was heading for the top corner before Keylor Navas superbly got back and clawed the ball over the bar. A contender for the save of the tournament. At half-time, Uruguay looked reasonably comfortable, although of course not out of sight. Despite being behind, Costa Rica had made a good account of themselves in what had been a reasonably quiet game.

The second-half was perhaps the best in Costa Ricaís World Cup history. Only a few minutes into the second half, a far post ball was nodded by Gonzalez but his header was awkwardly parried by Muslera. Not long after that missed opportunity, Costa Rica equalised. As an over-hit pass looked like it was heading out of play, Gamboa chased it down and put in a brilliant cross which Ruiz and his marker missed; the ball fell to an unmarked Campbell who smashed a left footed drive past Muslera. What a moment for the Costa Rican supporters and it would get even better minutes later as another free-kick launched long to the far post was superbly nodded across into the goal by Duarte who had to battle past his marker to win the header. Another incredible moment of what is becoming one of the most entertaining starts to the World Cup in the history of the competition.

Much like his speculative effort in the first half, Joel Campbell had another blast at goal and it sailed narrowly wide. Uruguayís only real chance they had to equalise against a superb Costa Rican defence came when Cavaniís flicked header was punched away by Navas. Uruguay looked like a team that had run out of ideas and their fate was more or less sealed when a superb ball by Joel Campbell from the right flank through the outside of the Uruguayan centre half when Urena took it first time and neatly tucked it under Muslera. A brilliant brilliant goal. Costa Rica had scored three second half goals to beat one of the best teams in the world. Just before the final whistle Maxi Pereira took a fierce swipe at Joel Campbellís legs to the anger of the Costa Ricans and the Benfica full-back was accordingly sent off.

This win was no fluke. Costa Rica were superb and, on that performance, have to be taken as genuine contenders to progress through Group D maybe even as winners. Uruguay were outplayed. As simple as that. Rather than criticise the underwhelming Uruguay it would be more appropriate to compliment a superb Costa Rican side who have produced one of the best performances of the World Cup so far.

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Comments On This Article
D. Evans said ...

I missed the matches due to them being played in the middle of the night here however, by the sounds of it, we are in for a very tough ride. I don't think Costa Rica will beat Italy and out progress through to the next round will definitely hinge on that final group game against them. You couldn't write it, could you. Prepare for an awful lot of diving from Uruguay on Thursday.
15/06/2014 11:15:12

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