Costa Rica and Greece will face each other tonight at Arena Pernambuco, Recife. This is a match that nobody predicted before the competition started. Costa Rica finished first at Group D , in front of the other favourites like Uruguay , Italy and England. Meanwhile Greece is qualified thanks to a late penalty earned and scored by their top striker , Giorgos Samaras.
Jorge Luis Pinto will play once again a 5-4-1 like in groups stage , and it’s not expected to make any changes in the starting line up. Costa Rica manager once again will trust in Arsenal star abilities , Campbell who has been the key player in Costa Rica performance so far. Campbell scored and assisted once against Uruguay helping them to win 3-1 the match.
Costa Rica was believed to not even earn a point in their group , considered as “Group of Death” since there were strong teams like Uruguay, England or Italy. Costa Rica beat Uruguay thanks to Campbell , Duarte and Urena goals. Meanwhile vs Italy it decided the Bryan Ruiz header at first half ,and vs England it ended on a bore draw.
Costa Rica ‘writing’ its country’s football history
Possible Line up for Costa Rica
5-4-1 : Navas, Diaz , Umana, Gonzales, Duarte, Gamboa, Bolanos, Tejeda, Borges, Ruiz, Campbell
After a hard game, Greece did it. Former Celtic striker , Samaras earned a penalty and scored it himself , sending so Greece in knock out stage. Greece finished second at group C after Colombia with only 4 points and 2 goals scored. Fernando Santosis expected to make some changes since his team suffer from injuries and suspensions. Orestis Karnezis who was injured vs Ivory Coast is expected to be fit vs Costa Rica , but Bologna midfielder Panagiotis Kone is in doubt. Captain Kostas Katsouranis who was suspended is expected to be replaced by Giorgos Karagounis.
Greece feel ‘no pressure’
Possible Line up for Greece :
4-2-3-1 : Karnezis , Torosidis, Manolas, Sokratis, Holebas, Maniatis, Karagounis, Salpingidis, Samaris, Christodoulopolos, Samaras.
This two teams never faced each other.
Last time Costa Rica qualified on a Knock out stages was in 1990.
This is the first time Greece plays in a knock out stage of World cup.
Greece has only beaten African teams in World Cup games.
Prediction : Costa Rica win.