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HomeSportsCosta Rican comeback undoes Uruguay

Costa Rican comeback undoes Uruguay


Costa Rica 3, Uruguay 1

Costa Rica stunned Uruguay with two quick-fire goals en route to a 3-1 comeback victory in their 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil opener. Edinson Cavani had given the South Americans the lead from the penalty spot, but Joel Campbell and Oscar Duarte struck with minutes of one another before Marco Urena rounded off an unexpected win.

 Joel Campbell of Costa Rica shoots and scores his team's first goal past Fernando Muslera of UruguayWith Oscar Tabarez’s side not having won their opening game since 1970, and Los Ticos starting out on a five-game World Cup winless streak, there was every chance a run would be broken in Fortaleza. It was Uruguay that posed problems for the Central Americans early on. First, Diego Godin was on hand to sweep home at the back post, following a Cavani flick, only to be marginally ruled offside. Then the Paris Saint-Germain forward had a gilt-edged chance of his own, slicing a volley wildly wide after Umana miscued his clearance.

The fans who had hopped on the six-hour flight from Montevideo were not left waiting much longer, as captain Diego Lugano was hauled down by Junior Diaz in the area, leaving Cavani to slot home from 12 yards.

Costa Rica were far from rolling over though, with a long distance effort from Campbell seeing Fernando Muslera fling himself full-length across his goal as it arrowed narrowly wide. Then it was the turn of Duarte and Giancarlo Gonzalez to worry La Celeste, with the latter’s close-range effort deflected past the post after the pair cause havoc following a deep free-kick.

Moments before half-time though, only a stunning save from Keylor Navas prevented Duarte from inadvertently making the difference at the other end, with a wicked deflection almost sending Diego Forlan’s shot under the bar.

Costa Rica had not beaten Uruguay in eight attempts, but dead-balls began to look like a fruitful avenue for Jose Luis Pinto’s side, as Duarte again rose at the back post to meet Christian Bolanos’ free-kick, but Muslera was there to deny him. Minutes later they were level, with Campbell tying the match up, home with his left foot past a motionless Muselra from inside the area after Cristian Gamboa’s deep cross.

Then, in a near- copy of Bolanos and Duarte’s previous combination, the defender got his rewards, with his diving header into the far corner turned the game on its head three minutes later. While Uruguay probed for an equaliser, they rarely troubled the Costa Ricans, and with five minutes remaining a surgical through-ball from Campbell sent Urena through – who slotted coolly past the advancing Muslera. To compound Tabarez’s misery, a frustrated Maxi Pereira lashed out on Campbell in the dying seconds to receive his marching orders.

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