YES Network.com

World Cup Roundup: Costa Rica shocks Uruguay

Costa Rica springs the first major upset of the World Cup, beating Uruguay, 3-1
06/14/2014 11:38 PM ET
By Grant Tunkel

Costa Rican players celebrate after scoring their second goal against Uruguay.(AP)
We have our first major upset of the 2014 World Cup.

Costa Rica scored three second-half goals en route to a 3-1 victory over Uruguay on Saturday in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Uruguay, playing without star forward Luis Suarez, took a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute on Edinson Cavani's penalty. Cavani, who scored 16 goals with Paris Saint-Germain in France's Ligue 1 this past season, used a well-placed strike to beat keeper Keylor Navas.

Undeterred, the Ticos came out firing in the second half. Just nine minutes after the break, Joel Campbell received a cross at the top of the box and buried a left-footed shot past the keeper Fernando Muslera.

A mere three minutes later, Oscar Duarte headed home on a free kick to put the Central American side ahead. Christian Bolanos played a right-to-left ball into the box, where Duarte headed back across the face of goal.

Marco Urena put the match away in the 84th minute, when he was on the receiving end of a well-placed through ball from Campbell. Urena slid his shot past the on-rushing Muslera to put the Ticos, who were a Group D after-thought coming into the competition, at the top of the table.

In other Saturday action…

Colombia 3, Greece 0: The day's opening match went as planned, with the Group C favorites scoring three times against a punchless Greek side.

Pablo Armero scored in the fifth minute, Teofilo Gutierrez netted 13 minutes after the break and James Rodriguez added an insurance tally in second-half stoppage time. Rodriguez's goal had no impact on the outcome of the match, but goal differential could prove vital in the group.

Italy 2, England 1: Mario Baloltelli's second-half header gave Italy a victory over England on Saturday in Manaus, Brazil.

With both teams vying for position in a crowded Group D, the match began slowly as the sides acclimated to the rainforest climate and to one another. Italy struck first in the 35th minute, with a set piece off a corner kick. Marco Verrati's pass was dummied by Andrea Pirlo, and an unmarked Claudio Marchisio unleashed a shot past three defenders and keeper Joe Hart into the net.

Two minutes later, England equalized on a gorgeous play. Wayne Rooney received a pass along the left side and ran toward the box, where he played a left-to-right cross into Daniel Sturridge for a half-volleyed finish.

But Balotelli put the Italians ahead just five minutes after the break. Antonio Candreva crossed from the right flank to the far post, Balotelli lost his marker and leapt into the air to beat Hart.

Ivory Coast vs. Japan: The Ivory Coast's second-half pressure proved too much for Japan in the African side's 2-1 win late Saturday.

Keisuke Honda's well-struck goal gave the Japanese a lead in the 16th minute, leaving the Ivory Coast to chase an equalizer. The Elephants threatened through the halftime break, but it wasn't until Didier Drogba entered the match in the 62nd minute that momentum seemed to shift.

Two minutes after the legendary Drogba joined his side, Wilfried Bony met a Serge Aurier cross in the box and headed into the net to level the score. Less than two minutes later, it was Gervinho's turn to score. His near-post header beat the diving keeper Eiji Kawashima and put the Ivorians ahead for good.

Looking ahead to Sunday…

Day 4 of the World Cup features a number of heavyweights. Five of the six nations playing Sunday enter the competition ranked in the top 30 of FIFA's world rankings.

Noon, Switzerland vs. Ecuador: Group E is likely to be a three-horse race, with these two squads contending for a knockout stage spot. Four years ago, Switzerland shocked Spain with a 1-0 victory in their opening match but failed to advance. Now, the sixth-ranked Swiss have high expectations. Ecuador has plenty of firepower, led by Felipe Caicedo, who scored seven goals in qualifying. La Tri will be playing with heavy hearts; nearly one year has passed since the tragic death of 27-year-old striker Christian Benitez.

3 p.m., France vs. Honduras: France is another side with high expectations, particularly after the disappointment of South Africa. Les Bleus went 0-1-2 in the last World Cup, finishing fourth in their group and scoring just once in three matches. Honduras also finished last in its 2010 group and didn't score in any of its three matches. They'll likely struggle again in the talented Group E.

6 p.m., Argentina vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina: The marquee matchup of Sunday pits Lionel Messi and Argentina (No. 5 in the world rankings) against Edin Dzeko and Bosnia and Herzegovina (No. 21). The Argentines don't need much introduction. But Bosnia and Herzegovina are set to make their World Cup debut. Dzeko, who starred at Manchester City this season, took a leading role in qualifying. He scored 10 times in as many matches for a side that went 8-1-1 to reach Brazil. Bosnia and Herzegovina are backstopped by Premier League keeper Asmir Begovic, who kept nine clean sheets for Stoke City.

Follow us on Twitter @GTunk and @YESNetwork for more.
YESNetwork.com comments


Yankees

More Headlines »