Costa Rica 1 Greece 1: Player ratings

Costa Rica 1 Greece 1: Player ratings as the Central American reach the last eight thanks to a 5-3 penalty shootout win

Harry Reardon
By Harry Reardon
Costa Rica
1
Greece
1

Costa Rica

Keylor Navas Had little to do for most of the game, but was alert when called upon towards the end of the first half with an excellent close-range save from a Salpingidis volley, and in falling gratefully on the ball after Christodoulopoulos found space in the box late on. Booked for timewasting in the last minute of normal time, and then could possibly have done better than to palm Gekas’s shot into the path of Papastathopoulos. Took his team to penalties with a brave last gasp save from Mitroglou, and then won them with a fabulous save from Gekas. 7/10

Cristian Gamboa Was never backwards in coming forwards, sprinting past his man before dragging a shot wide as early as the fourth minute, and didn’t curb his advances thereafter, which possibly prompted his substitution as los Ticos looked to hang on to their lead. 6

Oscar Duarte Largely looked untroubled; but was booked shortly before half-time for bringing down Christodoulopoulos after misjudging the bounce of the ball and the Greek’s run, and received a second booking with 25 minutes to go for a late challenge. It was the turning point. 5

Giancarlo Gonzalez A solid presence at the back for Costa Rica, with a one particularly good interception on 25 minutes when a well-directed through ball had almost found Samaras in space in the area. Without his efforts, his team would not have made it to extra-time. 7

Michael Umaña Like his central defensive partners, his positioning was generally good, and until the dam finally broke in injury time, he looked to have done enough. And then with the eighth penalty, he had. 6

Junior Diaz Stationed high up the pitch from the start, and always looking to intercept and break forward. Occasionally that meant that he left his man free when the ball was lost; and he was a little wasteful in possession, before being forced backwards after his team-mate saw red. 6

Celso Borges Strong in midfield but wasted the ball when Costa Rica had men over on the counter-attack midway through the first half, and could not stem the flow once the game had turned. 6

Yeltsin Tejeda A quietly effective first half; tried to make his mark early in the second but only received a booking for a strong challenge on Karagounis. Substituted with 25 minutes to go. 6

Bryan Ruiz Showed flickers in the first half, with one clever back heel earning a corner for his team. Either guided or scuffed a shot into the far corner on 52. On balance? Probably scuffed. 7

Christian Bolaños After an energetic start, he slightly lost the pizazz, save for one threatening free-kick on 22 minutes which could not quite find a Costa Rican head. Picked the pass well for Ruiz to open the scoring. Substituted towards the end of normal time. 7

Joel Campbell Showed off his direct running and clever flicks without ever unlocking the door in the first half. Less of a threat in the second half, and had lost any energy to hold up the ball after his team had gone a man down. 7

Substitutes

Jose Cubero On for Tejeda after 65 minutes and did what he could (legally or otherwise, and mostly the latter) to break up play – on another day, Costa Rica could have been down to nine. 6

Johnny Acosta Came on for Gamboa with 15 minutes to go as Costa Rica looked to shut up shop. 6

Randall Brenes Replaced Bolaños late on in normal time and could not quite have the same impact in the extra period, skewing over from a good position in the 106th minute. 6

Greece

Orestis Karnezis Had some tidying up to do first half but little else. Found himself wrong-footed by Ruiz’s strike early in the second half, and could not save his team in the shootout. 6

Vasilis Torosidis Had little to worry about for much in the first half, but then allowed Bolaños to find space to set up Ruiz for the goal. Should have conceded a penalty with a clear handball shortly afterwards, though; and how crucial that decision could have proved. 6

Kostas Manolas Stayed tight on Campbell, to the extent of conceding a free kick or two, but generally did well enough to keep him quiet. He was solid at set-pieces, and looked in control of proceedings. Booked in the last 20 minutes for a challenge on the Arsenal man. 7

Sokratis Papastathopoulos Should have done better with a header from a corner on 15 minutes, but otherwise generally solid enough, and found himself in the right place in second half injury-time as the ball broke free in the area. 7

Jose Holebas (Man of the Match) Looked his team’s best source of invention, with a succession of dangerous crosses from open play and set pieces which Samaras and Salpingidis could not convert. 7

Georgios Karagounis The old stager of this team made sure to get involved all over the pitch and from set-pieces, but one felt that Costa Rica did not feel truly threatened when he was on the ball, as perfectly exemplified by a ballooned free kick from 25 yards in the dying embers of normal time. 6

Andreas Samaris Positioned himself well to minimise the space for Costa Rica to break through in the first half, before mistiming a challenge on Campbell to get himself booked. Sacrificed for Mitroglou as Greece looked to get back into the game. 6

Giannis Maniatis Little to note first half. One particularly fine searching ball found Salpingidis at the beginning of the second half as he expanded his range a little, but overall, his performance was strangely subdued. 6

Lazaros Christodoulopoulos Showed good touches without ever truly finding himself in positions where he could hurt Costa Rica until late on as they tired; and then, he could not find the composure. 7

Dimitris Salpingidis Anonymous until the 37th minute, when he appeared out of nowhere at the far post and must have thought that he had scored with a controlled volley that was somehow turned around the post by Navas. Replaced by Gekas as Greece looked to react to the sending off of Duarte. 5

Giorgos Samaras Found himself ploughing a bit of an unforgiving lone furrow, and his efforts in the final third ultimately lacked conviction. One header in particular from an early second half free-kick was straight at the keeper when he should really have done better. 6

Substitutes

Kostas Mitroglou The Fulham man replaced Samaris with a little over half an hour to go, and had about as much impact as he has at Craven Cottage since January. Could have won it in the last seconds of normal time, but Navas pulled off a fine save to tip his effort over the bar. 5

Theofanis Gekas Came on for Salpingidis with just over 20 minutes to go as Greece looked to go more direct. Let the ball get away from him after a fine long pass from Torosidis on 83, and couldn’t find the close control he needed in the box to win it for his team in extra time. 6

Kostas Katsouranis Replaced the far from gruntled Maniatis for after 75 minutes, to no meaningful effect. 6

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