Agencies, Recife, Brazil
Costa Rica reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time by beating Greece 5-3 on penalties after conceding a stoppage time equaliser and playing 54 minutes with 10 men.
After the 1-1 draw following extra time, Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas made a superb one-handed stop to keep out Theofanis Gekas’s fourth spot-kick before Michael Umana fired high into the top corner to send the Central Americans into a last eight meeting with Netherlands.
‘Last night, I dreamt, this, it seems untrue. I was relaxed because I dreamed it. I dreamed it but I didn’t tell anyone. I felt very confident,’ said Umana yesterday.
‘This is for my family. It’s for the colleagues who got injured before coming here. They’re not with us, but they gave us a hand on the pitch.’
The Ticos, whose only previous appearance in the last 16 came in 1990, will play the Dutch in Salvador next Saturday.
An otherwise dire match was brought to life early in the second half when Bryan Ruiz calmly sidefooted Costa Rica ahead but defender Oscar Duarte was sent off on 66 minutes, allowing the Greeks to find a route back into the match.