Italy 0 Costa Rica 1: Player ratings as Fulham striker nets winner

Italy 0 Costa Rica 1: Player ratings as the Azzurri suffer a surprise loss to Bryan Ruiz and company

By Richard Potter
Costa Rica


Gianluigi Buffon Didn’t look particularly confident dealing with set pieces on his return to the side, a problem his understudy Salvatore Sirigu shared in the Azzuri’s World Cup opener. At sixes and sevens for the Ruiz goal. 5/10

Ignazio Abate Conceded needless fouls, too tight to his man and searching runs forward that in a Milan shirt would be the norm, became a rarity. 4

Matteo Darmian Impressive against England with darting runs down the left channel. Started well at the beginning of both halves, particularly the second, cutting inside on the left to send a fizzing drive goalwards from just outside the area which required the fingertips of the Costa Rican keeper. One of Italy’s better players, but it’s a team game and he struggled. 6

Andrea Barzagli Caught out far too often by the Costa Rica counter attack. 5

Giorgio Chiellini Sloppy in possession and contributed to Italy’s pedestrian start to the game. Culpable for the penalty that wasn’t and slow to react for the Ruiz goal. 4

Daniele De Rossi Failed to impose himself on the game in the middle of the park. The Costa Rican defence surrounded midfield and stifled play. 5

Thiago Motta Lack of urgency during the first 45. Perhaps not enough time to really make his mark on the game as he was substituted at half-time for Cassano. First shot goalwards for the Azzurri on 26 minutes, only to drag the shot wide. Did little else. 3

Andrea Pirlo Usually peerless, today predictable. Struggled to find that killer pass to unlock the Costa Rican defence. 6

Antonio Candreva One of Italy’s standout performers against England. Good movement early on, however consistent stray passes saw him substituted in the second half. Costa Rica didn’t allow the Lazio midfielder or his international team-mates the time or space to settle. 5

Claudio Marchisio A mixed bag. Good tracking back to win early midfield battles and instigate some early Italian attacks. Lack of concentration with a misplaced pass back to concede a corner summed up Italy’s play – lethargic. 6

Mario Balotelli Lively start for the striker and a threat when given the service and platform to run at the Costa Rican defence. But that was sparse. Should have put the Italians ahead not once, but twice during the first half. Both gilt-edged goal-scoring opportunities. Disinterested second half, his frustration evident after picking up a yellow card on 70 minutes. 5


Antonio Cassano Played in three European championships for the Azzurri but never at a World Cup, until now. A positive change to start the second half for Italy, asking questions of the opposition defence, that defence was equal to his efforts though. Became all too predictable as the Costa Ricans dropped deep to crowd out the Italian attackers. 5

Lorenzo Insigne Ineffectual, his substitute appearance encapsulated by blazing over for his only chance of the game. 3

Alessio Cerci Looked the more likely of the substitutes to make an impact, however Italy’s play was one dimensional. 6

Costa Rica

Keylor Navas Untroubled for the majority of the game, safe pair of hands when called upon. 7

Cristian Gamboa Disciplined and stoic, stuck to the task of denying the Italians time and space in the final third. 7

Junior Diaz Campbell Assist for the Ruiz goal, precise weighted ball bamboozling the Italian defence. Defensively solid and composed. 8

Michael Umana Epitomised the entire Costa Rican team, full of heart and full of purpose. 7

Giancarlo Gonzalez Good running and defensive play to disrupt Balotelli early on, the Milan striker never found his rhythm. 7

Oscar Duarte Should have gone in the referee’s book for a cynical pulled back on Marchisio in the first half, grew into the game. Full of endeavour, good foil for the Costa Rican system. 6

Bryan Ruiz (Man of the Match) The Fulham man’s game seems to lift when he puts the Costa Rican shirt on, looked assured in possession. Good invention to involve his team-mates in attacks and ultimately reaped the rewards. Got on the end of a delightful ball from Diaz, drifting into a pocket of space away from Chiellini and Darmian to score the only goal of the game. 9

Yeltsin Tejeda Full of running, chasing the ball down, passing to feet and committed to the cause for the duration. 7

Joel Campbell Posed a problem to the Italian defence throughout. A constant danger on the counter, offering something different to the Costa Rican attack. Good hold up play when required, mature performance. 8

Celso Borges Confident performance with the eye for goal, keeping Buffon on his toes on numerous occasions. 7

Cristian Bolanos Asked the Italian defence plenty of questions, positive and attack minded in possession throughout. 7


Jose Cubero N/A

Marcos Urena N/A

Jose Cubero N/A


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