Costa Rica created history at Recife as they beat Italy 1-0 to book a place in the round of 16 for the first time after 24 years.Here, at Economy Decoded we have a quick look at how they achieved this feat.
COSTA RICA SQUAD
For Italy, marco verrati and paletta were replaced by motta and abate respectively as chiellini returned to his original centre back position while veteran goalkeeper buffon came back into the squad after missing the last match due to injury.On the other handCosta Rica retained the same squad that had trounced the mighty Uruguayans in the previous match.
Both the teams started slowly as the ball remained in the midfield as both teams shared an equal share of ball possession.The first real chance of the match came for balotelli in the 32ND minute when a pass from pirlo from the half line found balotelli near the box, but he fired wide.The very next minute, balotelli was denied again as he fired the ball straight into the hands of the costa rican goalkeeper.Joey cambell then,was denied a clear penalty by the refree in 42ND minute as it was a clear foul by Italian defender chiellini. Though, shortly after this incident lightning struck Italy as the Costa ricans scored the only goal of the match.Bryan Ruiz headed in a perfectly crossed ball from Diaz from the left hand side.Italy came back from the break by introducing cassano in place of motta for some much needed creativity in the field but lack of chances upfront and some great defending from costa rica meant that Italy would now have to beat Uruguay in their last group D match on the 24TH to qualify for the next round.
However,this world cup will always be remembered for the heroics of the Costa Rican squad and their famous victories over Uruguay and Italy.They next face England in a dead rubber with already being qualified for the next round and England disqualified after today’s result.
Man of the Match
Christian Bolanos -A constant threat on the ball and consistently created chances for his teammates.
Flop of the Match
Mario Balotelli -Missed several chances and couldn’t really break into the opposition’s defense .
For match highlights and live coverage of the FIFA 2014 world cup log on to www.livsports.in
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