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World Cup Recap: Costa Rica vs. Greece


The city of Recife, Brazil hosted an  underrated matchup in the round of 16. Two dark horses fought for their spot in a quarterfinal match up against the Netherlands, Costa Rica and Greece. Nobody would have thought that this match was going to be a classic.  It seemed as if two world-class European teams were going at it.

Yellow cards, red cards, goals, and even a penalty shootout only describes a fraction of how eventful this match was, as Costa Rica was barely able to pull of a 5-3 penalty shoot out victory.

The beginning of this match was very calm. During this 1st half, Greece dominated ball control against Costa Rica. The Greeks had a few chances for a goal but still remained goal-less at halftime. It was the same situation for Costa Rica, but they did not really display an intimidating attack against Greece, as they were only able to get off 3 shots for a goal –all off target, while Greece had 7 attempts at goal– 3 on target.

If you watched this game, it was needless to say that Greece seemed to be in control and they were bound to score eventually. But in the 52nd minute, Costa Rica Midfielder, Bryan Ruíz celebrated with his teammates, as he was able give his team the 1-0 lead while it seemed as if Orestis Karnezis, Greece goalkeeper, fell asleep during the play.

Of course, Greece kept dominating the ball possession, and they attacked and attacked over and over again. Luckily for Greece in the 66th minute mark, Oscar Duarte, Costa Rica defender, picked up his second yellow card, which ruled for a red card.

It was now 11-man Greece vs. 10-man Costa Rica.

Unfortunately for Greece, time was running out, as they were persistent with their strong attack resulting in 10 plus shots on target.  Greek players like Christodoulopoulos, Karagounis, and Gekas were able to strike on target but resulted in zero goals.

It was not until the 90th and final minute until Greece finally scored to tie up the game 1-1.  It was bound to happen. The Greek squad was able to celebrate Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ equalizing goal knowing that they’ll have an extra 30 minutes to take the lead.

Eventually the game ended up going into extra time. Greece had a handful of attacks at the goal to try and win, but they just could not take advantage of Costa Rica’s 10-man squad to get the ball into the net.

Therefore, the score remained tied 1-1 at the end of extra time. Now it was time for penalties.

During the penalty shootout, Costa Rica was able to score their 5th and final penalty kick after Theofanis Gekas missed Greece’s 4th penalty kick and resulted in a heartbreaking loss for the Greeks.

This nail-biting match up now leads up to a very anticipating World Cup Quarterfinal matchup, Costa Rica vs. Netherlands.


Chris Zacherl may be reached at [email protected].

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World Cup Recap: Costa Rica vs. Greece