When Costa Rica was drawn into Group D — the real group of death alongside Uruguay, England and Italy — everyone was ready to bid it goodbye. It was expected to have a few fun matches and then return home. Costa Rica shocked the world with its 3-1 win over Uruguay, but it was not given the benefit of the doubt. Everyone believed Costa Rica won only because Luiz Suarez was forced to sit the match out; it was expected to meet its downfall against Italy, but the Costa Ricans came out swinging against the Italians. They played hard and were at the same level at Italy, which was unexpected with champion veterans likes Mario Balotelli and Andrea Pirlo on their side. Costa Rica was able to defeat the Italians 1-0 and advance to the next round in the World Cup.
Not only did Costa Rica play well, but it beat Italy, which was unexpected. In all honestly, it should have ended 2-0 instead of 1-0, after a bad call stole a penalty kick from Costa Rica. It was not even a call that was borderline — it was a blatant penalty the referee missed. It defended well, attacked and did everything it needed to. Costa Rica is ready to show the world that CONCACAF is no longer a weak link. With the U.S. National Team and Mexico playing so well, then maybe it is time CONCACAF returns to the World Cup finals.
It is now time for Costa Rica to take it all. If it defeats England — which is disqualified after Italy’s loss — it will finish first in group with a clean sheet. This would be the best route for Costa Rica, because it would set it up to face Greece or Ivory Coast. Everyone needs to know this team did not beat Uruguay because Suarez was missing, but because it is really that good. I believe it can beat England and come in first.
Anyone who thought Costa Rica was an easy team to beat is now realizing how mistaken it was. This team is ready to win it all.