Costa Rica 1-1 Greece: Fulham striker helps send Ticos through

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Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz helped send through Costa Rica to the quarter finals with a victory over Greece which ended in penalties.

Both of these teams are surprise packages in the last 16, neither team was supposed to reach the quarter-finals and now one will.

The game started off fairly even, but Greece soon started to dominate the game and put Costa Rica under pressure. Lazaros Christodoulopoulos went close along with Dimitrios Salpingidis, but Keylor Navas was there on hand to deny the greeks.

The rest of the first half played out with not much to report but the true action happened in the second half.

Seven minutes after the interval Bryan Ruiz collected the ball on the edge of the box and carefully placed the ball into the bottom right corner.

Only 14 minutes later, Oscar Duarte was sent off for a second yellow for tripping up Jose Holebas. It was a silly foul and he left his team with a massive uphill task.

Costa Rica played out the rest of the game under pressure and seemed as though they would be able to claw out a victory.

Then the unreal happened, in the 91st minute Greece equalised. Theofanis Gekas got onto Georgios Samaras’ long pass and shot low and hard, Navas palmed it away but Sokratis Papastathopoulos was there to half volley in the re-bound.

Greece nearly went on to take the spoils when Kostas Mitroglou headed on target but Navas was there to deny him with a great save.

The game now went to extra-time for the two teams to decide their World Cup future.

Straight away Mitroglou threatened twice, but didn’t do anywhere near enough of a good job and Greece went without. Costa Rica managed to see out the remainder of the half but it was a struggle for them.

The second half of extra time played out a similar theme and both teams had chances. Costa Rica players looked completely out of energy after giving it their all with 10 men. In the very last minute Mitroglou nearly won it but Navas pulled out yet another wonder save.

It then went to penalties.

After four successful penalties a piece, Theofanis Gekas shot left and Navas pulled out a wonder save. Costa Rica were all but through and sealed it when Michael Umaña stepped up and hit his penalty top left.

Costa Rica are now in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, chew on that for a moment.

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