Belo Horizonte: Costa Rica marched into the second round of the World Cup, proudly on top of Group D, containing three former winners, after a 0-0 draw with already-eliminated England on Tuesday.
The ‘Ticos’, assured of progress before kick-off, comfortably held their own against an England team showing nine changes from the team beaten by Uruguay in a game short on goalmouth action or any real tension.
Uruguay finished second on six points in this group, with Italy on three and England, in their worst World Cup showing since 1958, on one. “We played a very sure, dynamic game,” Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto. “I have enjoyed the three games. We’re unbeaten, it’s historic. Now we’re going to prepare our best. First, a bit of rest.”
The confident Central Americans showed their attacking credentials from the start with forward Joel Campbell seeing his deflected shot sail narrowly wide. England, meanwhile. struggled to find their footing with the Costa Ricans.
Costa Rica: Keylor Navas; Cristian Gamboa, Oscar Duarte, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Roy Miller, Junior Diaz; Celso Borges (Michael Barrantes, 78th), Yeltsin Tejeda; Bryan Ruiz, Randall Brenes (Christian Bolanos, 59th), Joel Campbell (Marco Urena, 65th).
England: Ben Foster; Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw; Frank Lampard, Jack Wilshere (Steven Gerrard, 73rd), James Milner (Wayne Rooney, 76th), Ross Barkley, Adam Lallana (Raheem Sterling, 62nd); Daniel Sturridge.
Man of the Match: Keylor Navas
Referee: Djamel Haimoudi