Before the 2014 World Cup I was telling a friend that the group featuring Italy, Uruguay, and England would have been the group of death if it wasn’t for Costa Rica. Boy was I wrong! The Central American team not only advanced to the knockout stage, they went out and won the group. Those other three soccer powers never stood a chance.
Their quarterfinal run not only riveted a nation, but I’m sure also turned some people into traveling to the fine country. I’m sure there will be a spike in ecotourism in Costa Rica in the following years.
Before the games in Brazil started, Costa Rica was a 1000/1 shot to actually lift the trophy. Los Ticos was one of the longest of long shots.
Jorge Luis Pinto’s side battled and battled eventually bowing out to the Netherlands in penalties. But just think. The team beat Uruguay, Italy, drew with England, and beat Greece all when they were expected to lose every match and be lucky to even get a point.
How good was goalie Keylar Navas? So good that he is one of three finalists for the Golden Glove award, given to the best keeper of the tournament. Who’s he up against? No biggie, just two guys playing in tomorrow’s final. Germany’s Manuel Neuer and Argentina’s Sergio Romero!
This team will surprise no one in upcoming tournaments. They gave their fellow countryman and countrywoman a ride of a lifetime.
Just to put into perspective how great their run was let’s take a look at the World Cup pre tournament odds.
Ivory Coast 125/1
South Korea 300/1
Costa Rica 1000/1
Only Honduras and Iran had worst odds. Costa Rica, the darlings of the 2014 World Cup.