clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Costa Rica vs. Uruguay, 2014 World Cup: Final score 3-1, Costa Rica spring huge upset

Another day, another upset: Costa Rica have punched a huge hole in Uruguay's hopes of getting out of Group D with a 3-1 come-from-behind win against the 2010 semifinalists.

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Bracket'

It's not quite Netherlands 5-1 Spain, but it's an upset nonetheless. Costa Rica came from behind to beat Uruguay, 3-1, at the Estádio Castelão to get their Group D campaign off to the best possible start, perhaps demolishing Uruguay's dreams of a repeat semifinal run in the process.

Uruguay's issues in midfield showed up early, but they nearly went ahead 15 minutes in anyway. Edinson Cavani flicked on a Diego Forlán free kick, and the ball was scrambled over the line by the flailing Diego Godin. Fortunately for Costa Rica, the linesman ruled the strike out for offside.

The Ticos should have learned to tighten up on set pieces from that incident, but they didn't. 22 minutes in, Yeltsin Tejeda clattered Cristian Rodríguez, giving Forlán another chance at swinging in a delivery. His effect didn't actually reach Diego Lugano, but that's only because Júnior Díaz was busy hugging Uruguay's captain to the ground. Felix Brych quickly gave the penalty despite some furious (and misguided) protests.

Up stepped Cavani. The Paris Saint-Germain star had already scuffed a volley quite laughably wide, and his record from the spot had never been particularly great, but his penalty was perfect, easily beating Keylor Navas despite the Levante goalkeeper guessing the right way. Up 1-0 and against an unfancied side, Uruguay looked completely in control.

Costa Rica weren't going to let the goal get them down too much, however. Joel Campbell replied almost immediately with a 30-yard howitzer that fizzed past Fernando Muslera's left-hand post and Giancarlo González had a scrambled effort deflected into the side netting after confusion on the Uruguay box.

Just before the stroke of halftime, it looked as though a huge deflection was going to put the Ticos in an even bigger hole, but Navas pulled off the save of the tournament thus far, racing back to miraculously tip Forlán's shot over the crossbar.

Muslera replied with a save of his own when Óscar Duarte tried to sneak a near-post header in from a free kick, but Costa Rica were not to be denied, and the Ticos leveled through Campbell with 54 minutes gone. Lugano couldn't quite reach Christian Gamboa's cross, the ball fell to Campbell, and the Arsenal loanee neatly put the ball through the net with a thumping finish.

And they weren't done there, either. Bryan Ruiz won a free kick in a central position, the ball was swung in by Christian Bolaños, and Duarte, remembering his previous effort at the near post, steered a stupendous header just inside the far post. Just like on Campbell's goal, Muslera was totally helpless.

The goal sparked a double switch for Uruguay, who brought on Álvaro González and Nicolás Lodeiro and consequently looked far stronger through the midfield. But Navas was in a formidable mood, and even when the likes of Cavani were getting shots away he was keeping everything out to keep the Ticos in the lead.

Luis Suárez might have been able to change all that, but the Liverpool striker, still recovering from the knee injury he sustained in May, was not risked, and Costa Rica were able to deal with the lone threat provided by Cavani fairly comfortably.

The 2010 semifinalists might have been expected to summon up one final storm to test the Ticos defence, but their reaction, perhaps exacerbated by Suárez's absence, was surprisingly muted, and Costa Rica were the ones doing all the probing. And they got their reward 84 minutes in, when substitute Marco Ureña met a sumptuous Campbell pass by guiding a calm finish past Muslera and finishing up what will surely go down as one of the greatest wins in Costa Rica's history.

Maxi Pereira capped off Uruguay's day by getting himself sent off for kicking Campbell during stoppage time. Remember: one of these teams was supposed to be a threat to make it out of the group stages, and it wasn't Costa Rica.

Uruguay starting lineup (4-4-2): Fernando Muslera; Martín Cáceres, Diego Lugano, Diego Godin, Maxi Pereira; Cristian Rodriguez (Abel Hernández 76'), Walter Gargano (Álvaro González 60'), Arévalo Rios, Christian Stuani; Diego Forlán (Nicolás Lodeiro 60'), Edinson Cavani

Goals: Cavani (p) 24'

Sent off: Pereira 90'

Costa Rica starting lineup (3-4-2-1): Keylor Navas; Giancarlo González, Óscar Duarte, Michael Umaña; Júnior Díaz, Celso Borges, Yeltsin Tejeda (José Cubero 75'), Cristian Gamboa; Christian Bolaños (Michael Barrantes 88'), Bryan Ruiz (Marco Ureña 83'); Joel Campbell

Goals: Campbell 54', Duarte 57', Ureña 84'