Costa Rica had ten men on the field for most parts of the match against Greece. In what was a close battle between the two teams, Costa Rica managed to advance courtesy a 5-3 win in penalties. Here are the highlights. (Fixtures | Matchcentre)
Penalties: Costa Rica hold their nerves- 5-3! Navas makes a save which is enough to take the team to the quarterfinals for the first time ever. It is heartbreak for Greece but Costa Rica would be partying well into the night. They will face tough competition from Netherlands but tonight, nothing matters but the celebrations.
0410 hrs IST: PENALTY SHOOTOUT! It's that part of the sport which is the most thrilling and yet the most heartbreaking. Which team will emerge triumphant and which side will be left shattered?
0400hrs IST: Penalties loom! The Greeks have taken majority of the possession - 55% - but defence of both teams still holding on. Credit specially to Costa Rica for holding fort with 10 men and a visibly hurt goalkeeper.
0350 hrs IST: End of first extra time! Costa Rica tried to slow the pace of the game even as players from both teams look visibly exhausted.
0340hrs IST: Neither of the two teams would be considering the idea of a penalty shootout with much fondness. While Costa Rica goalkeeper has a good record, a result in extra time would be better for either side.
0325 hrs IST: Full 90 minutes over! Now for extra time...
0320 hrs IST: GOAL! And the Greeks have SCORED THE EQUALISER! Sokratis Papastathopoulos emerges as the biggest hero in recent Greek history - scores in the 91st minute to keep his team alive.
0310 hrs IST: The Greeks have looked more desperate than ever before, in the last few minutes. Have taken the attack to Costa Rica but the defence has handled the pressure well so far.
0257 hrs IST: RED CARD! Setback for Costa Rica as Oscar Duarte shown his second yellow of the match. He walks off in a huff, giving Greece a possible chance to attack a 10-man opposition.
0255 hrs IST: Did you know? Costa Rica's population (4.802 million) is almost half that of New Delhi (9.879 million).
0250 hrs IST: The match has turned completely. Costa Rica now hunt for more and make repeated forays into the Greek defence. Push the opposition to pull back despite the need to shove forward for the equaliser.
0242 hrs IST: GOAL! After a 52-minute wait, Costa Rica pull ahead with Bryan Ruiz turning the ball into the bottom corner of Greece's goal from 18 yards. Goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis had no clue where the ball was heading - watched it race in.
0235 hrs IST: Second half starts. No changes from either team in the break.
0220 hrs IST: End of first half! Nine shots but no goals so far. Costa Rica have had 55 % of the possession but Greece have been the only team of the two to have had shots on target - four.
0212 hrs IST: Costa Rica's Oscar Duarte receives a yellows card for a foul on Lazaros Christodoulopoulos. Just a few more minutes left for the first half to get over. No goals yet.
0210 hrs IST: FIRST CLOSE CALL! A dangerous cross finds Greece's Salpingidis racing his way past Costa Rican defence but the shot takes a deflection off Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas' leg in the 37th minute. Just two minutes earlier, the first yellow of the match was shown to Greece's Samaris.
0205 hrs IST: Did you know? Both teams have scored six goals in the tournament so far. Both teams have also never opened their account before the 42nd minute in matches played here so far.
0200 hrs IST: A couple of shots flying from Greek boots but hardly coming close to the goal. Costa Rica meanwhile have looked to counter-attack but the first 30 minutes continues to see defenders standing tall to challenges.
0153 hrs IST Costa Rica earn a free kick in the 23rd minute but fail to make an impact. It was in a promising position just outside the penalty box but the cross did not get a head - much to the relief of Greek fans in the stands.
0145 hrs IST: This edition of the FIFA World Cup has seen 140 goals, 1814 crosses and 543 saves. Both Costa Rica and Greece look to add to the first two and make a mark early into the game. No success in the first 15 minutes though.
0140 hrs IST: Costa Rica have tried to make the most of the smallest of openings in Greece defence. It is clear that any crack and the team will not shy from taking the lead. After all, the side showed solid spirit against giants Uruguay, Italy and England in the league stage.
Reality has just hit home... Costa Rica and Greece are better at Football than we are...!!!!!!— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) June 29, 2014
0135 hrs IST: Greece get the first free-kick of the match. Fail to make most of the chance. Lazaros Christodoulopoulos strikes from a rebound but the ball flies over the goal without making the goalkeeper stretch.
0130 hrs IST: KICKOFF! Costa Rica's first-ever match against Greece gets underway. History beckons both teams as neither of the two teams have ever reached this stage of the FIFA World Cup. There will be celebrations in one camp and tears in the other - such is the beauty of the sport!
Team news: Greece captain Kostas Katsouranis available again after being suspended. Michael Umana and Christian Bolanos return to the starting eleven.
Costa Rica vs Greece: Factoid
- This is the first ever meeting between these two sides.
- This is only the second occasion when Costa Rica have reached the knockout stage of a FIFA World Cup.
- This is the first time Greece have entered the second round of a World Cup.
- Costa Rica are yet to concede from open play. The only goal they have let past was a penalty.
- Greece have conceded nine goals in the tournament so far.
Road to Last 16
Costa Rica: Beat Uruguay (3-1), Beat Italy (1-0), Drew England (0-0)
Greece: Lost to Colombia (0-3), Drew Japan (0-0), Beat Ivory Coast (2-1)
Costa Rica Wary of Stubborn Greece
Costa Rica are determined to score first when they tackle Greece in the World Cup last 16 in Recife on Sunday. Greece have developed a reputation over the years of being extremely hard to break down, particularly if they take the lead. They have almost perfected the classic Italian system of catenaccio (bolt-lock) in which teams would play in an ultra defensive way and hope to score a single goal on the counter-attack to take a lead they would then defend. And Los Ticos technical assistant Luis Marin said his team need to score early to prevent Greece from taking the lead and then shutting up shop.
"It's crucial for us to score early in the game, especially as Greece are known to tighten up at the back once they score," said Marin.
"But we know it's going to be a tough game all round. Although they lost to Colombia (3-0), the goals they conceded were down to simple mistakes. Greece are also potent on the counter-attack."
He added: "Penalties could play a role at some point. They are a part of the game and although we hope it doesn't happen, we have to prepare for every scenario. (Read more)