Giorgos Karagounis (c)
For the first time in its history, Costa Rica will play in the quarterfinal of the World Cup after defeating a dour, defensive Greece team in a penalty shootout. The Round of 16 match in Recife, Brazil, was tied 1-1 after regulation. Greece scored a late goal in stoppage time to even the score. Costa Rica was playing with only 10 men after one of its defenders, Oscar Duarte, was ejected in the 66th minute.
Duarte lunged at Greece's Jose Chovelas after Chovelas blew by Duarte. The dangerous, cynical foul earned Duarte a yellow card, but it was his second of the match. He was shown red and the referee sent him off. Costa Rica, who was up by one goal at the time, was forced to play the rest of the game down a player.
There was little scoring and few promising opportunities for most of the game from two teams who advanced to the knockout round on the strength of their defenses. And in the case of Costa Rica, it's goalkeeper, Keylor Navas.
What looked to be the game's only goal was scored in the 52nd minute by Costa Rica's influential midfielder Bryan Ruiz. He strung a left-footed shot into the far right corner of the goal, placing his shot more than powering it, from the top of the box. It would take more than 40 more minutes for another ball to find the back of the net, an unlikely thought for most of the game.
Though Greece had more chances, some dangerous, Navas was stellar in stopping close-range shots, even when he faced an onslaught in the second half and the 30 minutes of extra time. He could do little to stop the shot from Sokratis Papastathopoulos, after having already stopped Theofanis Gekas. The rebound fell to the defender Papastathopoulos who slammed it into the back of the net.
What could have been truly demoralizing for Costa Rica, who has become the darling of this World Cup after beating Italy and Uruguay and tying England in the so-called group of death, was galvanizing. They defended ably, if frantically, in the overtime period, lasting until the penalty shootout.
Next up for Costa Rica, who has never advanced this far before, is the Netherlands, who defeated Mexico earlier in the day.