• Tuesday Jun 24, 2014

    Costa Rica draws with England to top Group D

    Costa Rica's Celso Borges (red jersey) in action against England during their FIFA World Cup match at the Estadio Mineirao on June 24, 2014, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

    BELO HORIZONTE – Costa Rica completed Group D play with a 0-0 draw against England on Tuesday at the Estadio Mineirao to top the table with seven points.

    The current Central American champion, which beat Uruguay and Italy in the first two games to secure a place in the knockout stage, will have a round of 16 date with the Group C runner-up on June 29 in Recife.

    Uruguay (2-0-1, 6 points) claimed second place following a 1-0 win over Italy in a simultaneously played match.

    Costa Rica head coach Jorge Luis Pinto made two changes to his starting XI, bringing on New York Red Bulls fullback Roy Miller and Cartagines midfielder Randall Brenes while England manager Roy Hodgson made nine changes.

    The Ticos’ first quality scoring chance came in the 23rd minute, when an attempt by midfielder Celso Borges was parried off the crossbar by goalkeeper Ben Foster for a corner kick.

    Despite having already been eliminated from contention following a pair of 2-1 losses to Italy and Uruguay, England attacked from the outside with Daniel Sturridge providing problems with his pace.

    The Liverpool forward put an effort just wide in the 12th minute and then headed over the bar 10 minutes from halftime after Phil Jones nodded the ball back into the mix following a corner kick.

    In the 49th minute, Sturridge got behind the Costa Rica defense, but Keylor Navas did well to come off his line to knock the ball away. The 24-year-old was freed into the box on a quick one-two only to see his low shot miss in the 65th minute.

    Three minutes earlier, Foster dived right to thwart Christian Bolaños’ long-range effort.

    Navas was up to the task again with 10 minutes remaining in normal time, back-pedaling to deflect a chip by second-half substitute Wayne Rooney.

    Costa Rica now has three wins, two draw and three losses in eight all-time World Cup matches against European opposition.


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