Wheels and Goals

News, updates, features and opinions on football and motor sport

World Cup 2014 – Round of 16: Costa Rica vs. Greece

Costa Rica vs. Greece

Costa Rica
How did they make it through?
Costa Rica surprised everybody as they topped Group D, disposing of Uruguay, Italy and England. The Central Americans opeJoel Campbellned their campaign by coming from behind to beat Uruguay 3-1 before then going on to beat Italy 1-0. They then played out a 0-0 draw with the already eliminated England in the final group game. Costa Rica have come into this competition without any fear, which has definitely helped them get the better of their far superior rivals.

Players to watch out for:
Costa Rica have plenty of talented players within their squad but I would say it is the attacking pair of Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell that are the main dangers. Ruiz scored the goal that sent Costa Rica through to the knock-out stages and he has looked much better than he did for Fulham last season. Ruiz looks much sharper and clinical. He certainly has the potential to produce moments of brilliance. The same applies to Campbell whose confidence is sky-high right now. The Arsenal youngster had a good season on-loan at Olympiakos and he has carried on that form into this tournament. He is very quick and agile and is never afraid to have a shot on goal. Greece will have to be very careful not to give him an inch of space.

How did they make it through?
As I write this I still cannot believe that Greece are actually in the last-16 of the World Cup. The 2004 European Champions made it through Group C despite only scoring twice during their three matches. The Greeks were thrashed 3-0 by Colombia in their opening match before drawing 0-0 with Japan. It was in their final game against the Ivory Coast where Greece finally managed to find the back of the net. With the scores level at 1-1, Greece were on their way out of the competition. This was until they won a last minute penalty, which Georgios Samaras slotted home to send the Greeks through and the Ivorians home.


Greece somehow made it through the group stage

Greece somehow made it through the group stage

Players to watch out for:
The Greek side isn’t that strong but if I was to single out a player that the Costa Rican players should be wary of it would be Samaras. The striker has scored plenty of goals over the past few years with Celtic and he should definitely by taken seriously.

Overall prediction – 2-0
Greek were very lucky to make it out of their group and I think that their lack of quality will show tonight. The Costa Rican players can continue to play without any pressure as nobody expected them to even get out of their group. The lack of pressure has really helped the squad play with freedom. I expect Costa Rica to win comfortably with Campbell getting himself on the scoresheet once again.


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