Keylor Navas

For the first time in their history, Costa Rica are in the quarterfinals of a World Cup. They need a penalty shootout to get ir done, as Theofanis Gekas misses the fourth one for Greece followed by Michael Umana hitting the clincher, as the first 120 minutes ended in a 1-1 draw: Costa Rica led thanks to a Bryan Ruiz goal, Greece equalized in the 91st minute through Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

The team that stunned everyone with a first place finish in Group D kept that shock factor going by playing better than Greece (well, maybe not that much of a surprise) until scoring their goal. Bryan Ruiz scored in the 52nd minute, and Costa Rica fell back to start clearing needlessly and wasting time instead of trying to win through football, which they’re better at.

But a red card (a second yellow) after a needless foul from Oscar Duarte in the 66th minute gave us 24 minutes of Greek pressure and eventually the equalizer from Sokratis. Costa Rica players defended desperately through the 30 minutes of extra time with Greece coming close to scoring a couple of times including in the final minute of the match, but their famous mental strength was only enough to equalize, not win. Keylor Navas was just too difficult to beat.

After Costa Rica scored their four kicks and Greece hit their first three, Gekas kicked to his left, saved by Keylor Navas. A minute later Umana sent the Pura Vida nation into the quarterfinals, hours after Mexico, the top representative of the region traditionally, failed to keep their lead against a European team.

Image: Source