2014 World Cup, Group D Opener: Costa Rica Beat Uruguay 3-1

By Oliver Ngwenya    15-Jun-2014 10:52 UTC+02:00
Joel Campbell scored the second and assisted in the third goal to help a 3-1 Costa Rica win. Photo: The Telegraph

Joel Campbell scored the second goal and assisted in the third one to help a 3-1 Costa Rica win.
Photo: The Telegraph.

In a match many initially viewed as a big upset of the tournament, Costa Rica, who were expected to be the whipping boys of group D, came from a goal down to beat Luis Suarez’s Uruguay by 3 goals to one at the Estadio Castellao in Fortaleza.

In the twenty- third minute, Diego Lugano was wrestled to the ground and Edinson Cavani stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to put the South American in the lead. It was a good opportunity for Cavani to make up for the sitter he had missed a few minutes earlier. Play then continued to sway from one end to the other with regular outburst from Costa Rica to show the kind of mantle they were made from.

Things began to change as soon as the teams returned from the pep talk at half time. The Central Americans were a completely changed side and seemed to be finding direction and focus to the aggression they had shown in the first half. They were unduly rewarded in the 54th minute with a double whammy to turn the game on its head and shock the much fancied Uruguayan supporters into complete silence. Firstly, man of the match, Joel Campbell picked up a loose ball in the penalty area and fired a thunderbolt past a horde of defenders and the goalkeeper to level the playing field for his hardworking team. While Uruguay were still reeling from the shock, the Costa Ricans were at it again a few minutes later when Oscar Duarte spotted a cross that was being flighted into the area from a free kick and made a brilliant stooping header to put the game just out of reach of their opponents.

From that stage, the South Americans began to fall apart and Costa Rica did not let up on the pressure. They were unduly rewarded in the 84th minute when substitute, Marcos Urena, from a well presented Campbell pass, made a beautiful finish in his first touch of the match, thereby sealing the fate of Uruguay. They, on the other hand did not seem to be in the game at all despite the faith that their supporters continued to show in them.

In fact, they seemed to gradually be falling apart and Felix Brych, the German referee did not let them get away with murder at all. They were the ones to go into the referee’s little black book for all the wrong reasons. Diego Lugano, Walter Gargano and Martin Caceres were all cautioned and shown the yellow card by the referee in the 50th, 56th and the 80th minutes respectively. The final straw on the back of the proverbial camel was the sending off of Maximillian Pereira in literally the last minute of stoppage time for a wild and careless hacking at soon to be man of the match, Joel Campbell.

The match managed to break a few minor but interesting records of its own. First, this is the first time that a Costa Rican team has scored more than twice in a FIFA World Cup match, and this is their eleventh appearance. Uruguay have also been consistent in that this is the third time they have conceded three goals in their last three World Cup matches. Lastly, Uruguay are also responsible for two of the last three red cards at a World Cup, this one and the notorious Suarez one in the match Against Ghana in 2010.

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