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20 years

Costa Rica topples Italy, becomes “Cinderella” of World Cup


By Jose Oliveros

June 20th, 2014 (VOXXI) Bryan Ruiz headed the ball past Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and the small nation of Costa Rica burst into ecstasy.

The Central American’s defeated the four-time World Cup champion 1-0 on Friday in Arena Pernambuco in Recife.

This is the first time ever a CONCACAF team has won two consecutive games in a World Cup.

The result formally eliminated the English national team from the global tournament.

The Ticos have officially taken the “Cinderella team” crown. Costa Rica was not expected to survive a group with three former World Cup winners, but they have shown that history is just, history.

The scrappy Central Americans looked like a team on a mission, and the Italians looked lethargic on the field.

The Ticos, midway through the first half, sounded the alarm bells when Joel Campbell seemed to be taken down in the box by veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini.


Goal-line technology saves the day once again

Costa Rica went in euphoria in the 44th minute of the match. Junior Diaz crossed the ball from the left hand side of the box and picked out Tico attacker Bryan Ruiz. Ruiz hit a thunderous header that hit the underside of the cross-bar and bounced in and then bounced out, but the new goal-line technology made sure that the referee made the correct call.

The second half saw the Costa Ricans fight to keep their keep their slim 1-0 lead.

Nor Mario Balotelli, nor any other Italian player was able to break the Tico defense and they now have to play for their tournament lives against Uruguay in their final Group Stage match.

Costa Rica will face an already eliminated England side on June 24, and Uruguay and Italy will fight for the other spot in the next round of the World Cup on the same day.


Originally published by VOXXI as “Pura vida, Costa Rica topples Italy”
and is republished here with permission.

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