2014 FIFA World Cup: Costa Rica stuns Uruguay 3-1
FIFA World Cup 2014: Costa Rica vs. Uruguay preview, live commentary and recap.
It's not defending champion Spain getting wrecked in its opener, but Uruguay sure laid an egg in its first match.
With Luis Suarez injured on the bench, Uruguay had hoped to sneak out of its opener with three points, one at least, then worry about their star striker's knee headed into their match with England.
That's not at all what happened.
Uruguay opened the scoring on a penalty kick, but a second half flurry from Costa Rica buried a Uruguay squad that finished fourth in the World Cup in 2010.
Joel Campbell started the scoring for Costa Rica with a missile early in the second half, and Oscar Duerte added a header just a few minutes later. Marco Urena came on and scored an insurance goal, and the team picked to finish last in Group D by most beat the team expected to win it.
As if the Suarez injury wasn't enough for Uruguay to deal with, Maximiliano Pereira was given a red card in the waning seconds, thus disqualifying him for the match against England.
A blow-by-blow of Saturday's surprising result is below.
Costa Rica 3 (Campbell 54', Duarte 57', Urena 84') - Uruguay 1 (Cavani 24')
90'+ -- And for good measure, Maxi Pereira earns a red card and is sent off. He'll be out for the next match, too, against England. Just an all-out disaster.
84' -- Welp. Joel Campbell sends a perfect ball through that Marco Urena -- who just came on -- finishes beautifully. This is so, so unexpected.
80' -- Another chance ruined for Uruguay, who's now running out of time. Remember, these guys came in fourth in 2010.
76' -- Third sub in for Uruguay, and it's not Suarez. We won't be seeing him today.
70' -- Uruguay comes agonizingly close twice in the box. First Cavani sends a cross through to no avail, then a Cavani header stopped by Navas. Desperate for an equalizer.
65' -- Two subs on for Uruguay. Neither Suarez.
64' --Campbell blasts another one, but this one sails just wide.
61' -- Another set piece from Costa Rica, this one well-defended.
57' -- You're not going to believe this. Costa Rica scored. AGAIN. A header off a set piece by Oscar Duarte. We will now find out just how hurt Suarez is. This is a Costa Rica side expected to finish last in this group.
54' -- GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!! I kind of called it!!! Joes Cambell buries a screamer, thanks to a cheeky combination and flick. He puts away a bullet and we're all square. Costa Rica has dominated this half.
Now the Suarez situation becomes much more interesting.
50' -- First card of the game goes to Uruguay's Lugano, and Costa Rica -- again -- almost scores on a set piece on a header by Oscar Duarte. He was literally 3 feet from goal, but he tried to go near-post, unsuccessfully.
Easy for me to say (I am on a couch), but he had plenty of net to work with.
48' -- A second shot of Suarez lacing his boots. Just sayin'.
46' -- We're underway in the second half, and it kind of looked like Luis Suarez was tying his shoes! That means nothing, but I, for one, would like to read too much into it. Fact is, he ain't playing, especially if this score holds.
Halftime: Not much to say. Pretty much what was expected, though Costa Rica was able to push through some pretty solid chances. They couldn't convert, however, on a sluggish Uruguay start. Costa Rica has four shots to seven from Uruguay.
Meanwhile, on the Internet:
44' -- Forlan gets another go and does much better with this one -- though not all of his doing -- but Navas soars for a wonderful save at the crossbar off the deflection.
43' -- Another Costa Rica corner spoiled, and another good chance as Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera was wiped out. But no one was able to get a head on the ball and it harmlesly bounded out of bounds.
40' -- Diego Forlan, who's been pretty quiet to this point, tries one from the top of the box. He missed by about an acre.
37' -- Joel Campbell has been a problem for Uruguay. Could end up with a goal at some point.
31' -- Costa Rica againjust misses again -- definitely their best chance -- and they go on to gain consecutive corners.
27' -- Good heavens. Cambell nearly answers for Costa Rica with a screamer that just goes wide.
23' -- Diego Lugano hugged and tackled in the box (this is not allowed) on a set piece, resulting in a penalty kick. Cavani buries it.
20' -- Costa Rica just lost it out of bounds under little pressure. Meanwhile, here's an important video of their previous corner.
AHAHAHAHAHA Uruguay. This is art https://t.co/v0CGQHZkVt— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) June 14, 2014
16' -- Edinson Cavani gets a chance but, for lack of a better term, totally blows it. Uruguay showing life, though.
15' -- Godin finds the net for Uruguay but was juuuuust offsides. Still, juuuuust offsides is still offsides.
12' -- Costa Rica again makes its way through the Uruguay defense, but Bryan Ruiz's header sails well over the crossbar.
10' -- Whoa. Clear hand ball in the box by Uruguay, but caused by a clear push by Costa Rica. Disaster averted. At least this game finally has a pulse.
9' -- Some nifty moves by Costa Rica's Joel Campbell breathes some life into the offense, and a low cross is sent out for a corner, the first of the game.
8' -- Uruguay generated a slight chance but failed to get a shot on goal. Looks like both teams engaging in a feeling out process early.
4' -- Just some light hand-fighting by both sides to start. Uruguay's jerseys are certainly tighter. we'll have to see what kind of an effect that has going forward. Probably none.
1' -- And we're underway. Uruguay opens in possession.
2:55 p.m. ET: Something else to make Uruguay supporters somewhat more nervous is the man in net for Costa Rica, Keylor Navas. One of the best keepers in the world, Navas can fly. Seriously.
2:45 p.m. ET: While Uruguay is supposed to win today -- frankly, everyone in Group D is expected to beat Costa Rica -- it will be interesting to see how they do without Suarez. Things could get dicey if, say, Costa Rica striker Bryan Ruiz is able to scratch across an early goal.
2:30 p.m. ET: In case you were clutching onto some sliver of hope that Uruguay forward Luis Suarez would miraculously be in Saturday's starting lineup, here's a visual to crush your dreams.
And here are the starters in a more readable format.
Goalkeeper: Fernando Muslera
Defenders: Maximiliano Pereira, Diego Lugano, Diego Godin, Martin Caceres
Midfielders: Egidio Arevala, Walter Gagano, Cristian Rodriguez, Diego Forlan, Cristian Stuani
Forward: Edinson Cavani
Goalkeeper: Keylor Navas
Defenders: Giancarlo Gonzalez, Michael Umana, Cristian Gamboa, Oscar Duarte
Midfielders: Cristian Bolanos, Junior Diaz, Yeltsin Tejada, Celso Borges, Bryan Ruiz
Forward: Joel Campbell
Match Preview: The headline here is simple: Uruguay star Luis Suarez will not be in the starting lineup -- he's not expected to play at all, in fact -- and it's unknown for how long he'll be out. There's already speculation that he will sit against England, as well, but the more immediate concern for Uruguay will be Costa Rica.
Suarez is recovering after undergoing a knee operation last month.
Obviously a win Saturday eases the pressure on the Uruguay side quite significantly. Still, they'' more than likely have to get past either England or Italy in order to move through to the knockout round.
As for Costa Rica, well, not much is expected from Costa Rica. It would be a surprise if they were to put any type of scare into Uruguay.
Does that mean they can't? Of course not. It just means they probably won't. A safe bet given that Uruguay is unbeaten against Costa Rica in eight previous matches.
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