It must be one of the best performances and results of a country in the World Cup finals ever, as Costa Rica amazingly beat Italy 1-0 in England’s Group D yesterday and qualified for the knockout rounds, and that left Uruguay and Italy to fight it out for who accompanies Costa Rica into the knockout tournaments – but it will not be England, who were eliminated after losing their first two games.
Bryan Ruiz scores after 44 minutes – what a fantastic win
And to think not one of Costa Rica’s players could get into the Italy squad, never mind the starting eleven, but that’s what makes football such a great game.
Costa Rica players played their hearts out for the result of the tournament so far, along with the Netherlands 5-1 annihilation of reigning Champions Spain.
Bryan Ruiz was a Newcastle target three years ago, but he signed on at Fulham, and he was booed last season in the Premier League and left to go on loan to PSV for the second half of the season, where he did very well
And he’s both Costa Rica’s best player and captain, and got the all important goal just before half time, his second of the tournament, as he headed in a difficult opportunity.
This is the type of unexpected and amazing result that makes a World Cup tournament, and along with the scintillating display from France yesterday, this World Cup is the best one for a long long time.
Italy now need at least a draw against Uruguay on Tuesday to advance, and England are out.
And you have to go back to 1950 in England’s first World Cup appearance ever, to see two defeats in the group stage – we beat Chile 2-0 in our first game with goals from Stan Mortensen and Wilf Mannion, but then we lost 1-0 to the USA and then 2-0 to Spain.
England have never lost all three group games in a World Cup, and we suppose there’s a chance that could happen on Tuesday – although both England and Costa Rica will be giving squad players an opportunity in that game.
And this is the first World Cup ever that we have conceded two goals twice in the group game stage.
It’s all in the head with the England players, and they always look very ordinary in these big tournaments – it always seems too much for them.
But the FA will stay with Roy Hodgson for the upcoming European Championships in France in 2016, and England are in the qualifying Group E along with Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and San Marino.
This is what FA Chairman Greg Dyke said after the defeat by Uruguay:
“We’re supportive of Roy Hodgson and we’ve asked him to stay as manager,” “That’s the view of myself, it’s the view of others here and it’s the view of the FA.”
Roy’s contract is £3M a year and lasts for the next two years, so the FA would have had to compensate him if he was sacked – but not the full £6M that some outlets are reporting.
We need somebody like Jose Mourinho managing the England side if we are not going to fail (miserably) every two years in these big tournaments.
And Costa Rica deserve all the accolades for what they have done so far in this World Cup – it’s just great for them.
Italy: Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, Darmian; De Rossi; Candreva, Pirlo, Thiago Motta, Marchisio; Balotelli.
Costa Rica: Navas; Gamboa, Duarte, Gonzalez, Umana, Diaz; Ruiz, Borges, Tejeda, Bolanos; Campbell.
Referee: Enrique Osses (Chile)