June 24th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com / ISH) Costa Rica takes on England today in Group D of the World Cup today. Kick off is set for 10 a.m. Central America time. Here is a quick summary of what to expect in the match against England and other matches taking place today.
World Cup Tuesday
by Chris Swanson / ISH
Group D: Costa Rica vs. England
Where: Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte
Significance: Costa Rica claims the group with a win or tie. England has been eliminated from advancing to the knockout rounds after losing its first two games. Costa Rica is guaranteed a spot in the knockout round for the first time since 1990.
Last game: Costa Rica defeated Italy, 1-0, while England lost to Uruguay, 2-1.
Keep an eye on: Costa Rica: Keylor Navas. The goalie has been phenomenal. After giving up a penalty kick against Uruguay, he posted a shutout against Italy. The Ticos has continued its sound defensive play in Brazil, as it entered the World Cup after allowing a CONCACAF-low seven goals in 10 qualifying games. England: Wayne Rooney. He was his team’s lone bright spot against Uruguay, as he scored in a 2-1 loss that eliminated England from advancing out of group play.
Key to the game: Costa Rica: Play smart. Costa Rica has secured passage to the round of 16, so the Ticos must avoid red cards, which would force players to miss the next game. The team also should be cautious, as the Ticos can’t afford to have players get injured. England: Play with no regrets. England is hoping not to lose all three games in Brazil in what’s been a very disappointing World Cup.
Projected starting lineups: Costa Rica: Goalie: Keylor Navas. Defenders: Cristian Gamboa; Óscar Duarte; Giancarlo González; Michael Umaña; Júnior Díaz. Midfielders: Bryan Ruiz; Celso Borges; Yeltsin Tejeda; Christian Bolaños. Forwards: Joel Campbell. England: Goalie: Joe Hart. Defenders: Glen Johnson; Gary Cahill; Phil Jagielka; Leighton Baines. Midfielders: Steven Gerrard; Jordan Henderson; Danny Walbeck; Raheem Sterling; Wayne Rooney. Forward: Daniel Sturridge.
Group D: Uruguay vs. Italy
Where: Estádio das Dunas, Natal
Significance: Uruguay advances out of group play with a win, while Italy moves ahead with a win or tie.
Last game: Uruguay defeated England, 2-1, while Italy fell to Costa Rica, 1-0.
Keep an eye on: Uruguay: Luis Suárez. He scored both goals in a 2-1 win over England that kept La Celeste alive in the World Cup. He’ll need to play just as well against Italy if Uruguay is to improve upon its fourth-place finish at the 2010 World Cup. Italy: Mario Balotelli. He’ll look to bounce back after Italy failed to score against Costa Rica in a 1-0 loss. In Italy’s first game of the World Cup, his header in the 50th minute was the difference in a 2-1 win over England.
Key to the game: Uruguay: Finish chances. Italy’s defense is very stout, so when Edinson Cavani and Suárez get the ball in the penalty box, it’s imperative they turn those opportunities into goals.Italy: Play to win. Italy owns the goal-differential tiebreaker – 0 to minus-1– so a tie means the Azzurri advances to the knockout rounds. However, Italy should play to win, as one mistake could easily lead to a Uruguay goal.
Projected starting lineups: Uruguay: Goalie: Fernando Muslera. Defenders: Diego Godín, Diego Lugano; Sebastián Coates; Martín Cáceres. Midfielders: Christian Stuani; Egidio Arévalo; Walter Gargano; Cristian Rodríguez. Forwards: Luis Suárez; Edinson Cavani. Italy: Goalie: Salvatore Sirigu. Defenders: Matteo Darmian; Andrea Barzagli; Gabriel Paletta; Giorgio Chiellini. Midfielders: Claudio Marchisio; Daniele De Rossi; Marco Verratti; Antonio Candreva; Andrea Pirlo. Forward: Mario Balotelli.
Group C: Colombia vs. Japan
Where: Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá
Significance: Colombia wins the group with a win or tie. It also wins the group should Ivory Coast lose or tie. The only way Colombia doesn’t win the group is if it loses and the Ivory Coast overcomes a four-goal differential.
Last game: Colombia defeated the Ivory Coast, 2-1, while Japan played to a scoreless draw against Greece. Japan must beat Colombia to have any chances of qualifying for the knockout rounds.
Keep an eye on: Colombia: James Rodríguez. He’s scored in each of the first two games – wins over Greece and the Ivory Coast – filling the void left by the injured Radamel Falcao. Japan: Eiji Kawashima. The goalie is coming off a shutout of Greece on June 19 and will have to be at his very best against Colombia, which has scored five goals in two games.
Key to the game: Colombia: Don’t let up. Colombia has emerged as one of the biggest stories at the World Cup, as Los Cafeteros will play in the round of 16 after failing to qualify for the past three World Cups. Colombia must continue to provide outstanding goalkeeping by David Ospina with a potent attack if it’s to continue its run to greatness. Japan: Score first. Colombia didn’t trail in either of its first two games, so Los Cafeteros don’t know what it’s like to play from behind. Japan can position itself for an upset if it seizes an early lead.
Projected starting lineups: Colombia: Goalie: David Ospina. Defenders: Juan Zúñiga; Cristián Zapata; Mario Yepes; Pablo Armero. Midfielders: Abel Aguilar; Carlos Sánchez; Juan Cuadrado; James Rodríguez. Forwards: Víctor Ibarbo; Teófilo Gutiérrez. Japan: Goalie: Eiji Kawashima. Defenders: Atsuto Uchida; Maya Yoshida; Yasuyuki Konno; Yuto Nagatomo. Midfielders: Hotaru Yamaguchi; Makoto Hasebe; Shinji Okazaki; Keisuke Honda; Yoshito Ōkubo; Forward: Yuya Osako.