Costa Rica came from behind to stun an incredibly poor Uruguay side that finished with 10 men in Fortaleza.
With the big headlines surrounding the fitness of Uruguay’s star man Luis Suarez, it was unsurprising that he was named on the bench with Golden Ball winner from 2010 Diego Forlan starting in his place. Costa Rica started with three centre backs and highly rated Arsenal man Joel Campbell up front but mostly players who were unknowns to most viewers.
The first half was a nervy affair as the Costa Ricans tried to settle into the tournament and contain a Uruguay side with some dangerous talent like Edinson Cavani and Forlan. They struggled defensively early on with Forlan’s set pieces causing them problems, some of which were caused by the Costa Ricans themselves. A sliced clearance gave Cavani a great chance but he couldn’t make good contact with his effort. The Uruguayans did eventually take the lead after Diego Lugano was hauled down in the area by Junior Diaz and Cavani slotted his penalty right into the corner. Costa Rica started to get into the game more as the half wore on but were grateful to Navas who kept out a deflected Forlan effort on the stroke of half time.
The break seemed to do nothing for Uruguay and invigorate the Costa Ricans. They began to dominate the game and eventually found themselves level when the impressive Campbell smashed past Fernando Muslera. They took the lead just three minutes later when Oscar Duarte stooped to head home at the back post. Costa Rica had plenty of chances to increase their lead during the game but it was substitute Marco Urena who eventually did get the third goal with his first touch after an excellent pass from Campbell. Uruguay were completely devoid of ideas and frustration got the better of Maxi Pereira in stoppage time when he lashed out at Campbell and got a deserved straight red card.
STORY OF THE MATCH
12- CHANCE. Diaz cross from the left, headed away by Godin, knocked back into the area, Ruiz gets above Godin and heads over
15- OFFSIDE. Costa Rica don’t clear Uruguay set piece, Rodriguez sends cross in from left, Cavani flicks on and Godin turns it home. Correctly ruled out as the defender was offside.
16- CHANCE. Forlan free kick from the right is a poor delivery but Costa Rica botch the clearance straight to an unmarked Cavani who slices his volley wide.
24- GOAL! 1-0 URUGUAY! Lugano hauled down in the box at a free kick by Diaz and a penalty is given. Cavani slots it past Navas who guessed right but couldn’t reach it.
27- CHANCE. Ball falls to Campbell 35 yards out in space and he smashes a shot just wide of the post.
31- CHANCE. Bolanos free kick, not cleared at all by Uruguay, Gonzalez tries to fire home but he scuffs it and it’s deflected into the side netting
43- CHANCE. Bolanos corner from the left, Muslera flaps at it and misses and Gonzalez can’t get near enough to steer it home
44- CHANCE. Cavani lays the ball to Forlan whose left footed shot from the edge of the area is deflected off Duarte and tipped over brilliantly by a retreating Navas
50- CHANCE. Bolanos free kick crossed to the back post, Duarte unmarked heads straight at Muslera and Uruguay clear
54- GOAL! 1-1! Bolanos’ flick is chased down by Gamboa whose first time cross is missed by Borges in the middle and falls to Campbell who takes a touch before smashing it past Muslera.
57- GOAL! 2-1 COSTA RICA! Bolanos free kick crossed to the back post, Duarte stoops and heads in at the back post.
64- CHANCE. Uruguay attack breaks down and Borges plays it to Campbell. The striker curls one at goal from 30 yards and it goes just wide of the far post.
66- CHANCE. Bolanos free kick from the right is headed just over by Ruiz.
69- CHANCE. Arevalo gives the ball away on the halfway line but Borges makes a poor decision and fires over from range.
70- CHANCE. Costa Rica only half clear a corner and Pereira swings the ball back into the box where Cavani’s header is beaten away by Navas.
84- GOAL! 3-1 COSTA RICA! Cavani loses the ball and Cubero passes it to Campbell on the right wing. Lovely through ball to Urena who slides it past the onrushing Muslera from a tough angle with his first touch.
90+4- RED! Campbell runs down the clock in the corner and Pereira comes in and simply hacks him down. Deserved red card.
Uruguay: Muslera, M. Pereira, Lugano (c), Godin, Caceres, Stuani, Arevalo, Gargano (A. Gonzalez 60), Rodriguez (Hernandez 76), Forlan (Lodeiro 60), Cavani
Subs: Fucile, A. Pereira, Suarez, Munoz, Gimenez, Perez, Ramirez, Coates, Silva
Yellow: Lugano, Gargano, Caceres
Red: M. Pereira
Costa Rica: Navas, Gamboa, Duarte, G. Gonzalez, Umana, Diaz, Borges, Ruiz (c) (Urena 83), Bolanos (Barrantes 89), Tejeda (Cubero 75), Campbell
Subs: Acosta, Myrie, Francis, Granados, Brenes, Pemberton, Miller, Calvo, Cambronero
Goal: Campbell, Duarte, Urena
1. Fernando Muslera – 6
Flapped at a corner in the first half but did not really have too much to do until the goals.
2. Diego Lugano – 5
Won the penalty but was very poor in possession. At fault for the third goal when he did not track Urena’s run
3. Diego Godin – 5
Given the run around by Campbell and didn’t mark well at set pieces. Poor performance.
5. Walter Gargano – 5
Struggled to impose himself in midfield and was not great with the ball. Booked in the lead up to the second Costa Rica goal.
7. Cristian Rodriguez – 5
Worked hard but was always on the periphery. Poor in possession and offered very little throughout.
10. Diego Forlan – 5
Clearly nowhere near the same player as he was four years ago and struggled to really get involved. Set piece delivery was sketchy and decisions were generally poor throughout.
11. Christian Stuani – 4
Started on the wing and never got involved. Moved through the middle and was even less involved with the game. Anonymous.
16. Maxi Pereira – 5
Never got forward at all to support the attack but was reasonably solid defensively. Performance tainted by poor red card late on.
17. Egidio Arevalo – 4
Overrun in midfield. In the side to break up play but never did and was sloppy on the ball.
21. Edinson Cavani – 6
Scored the penalty and had a couple of chances to score but struggled with no service. Never really got involved in the second half.
22. Martin Caceres – 5
Looked uncomfortable at left back. Struggled going forward, poor defensively and perhaps lucky to only be booked for a poor tackle in the second half.
8. Abel Hernandez – 5
Came on but never really got involved at all.
14. Nicolas Lodeiro – 5
Struggled to get on the ball and offered nothing defensively
20. Alvaro Gonzalez – 5
Brought on for Gargano and left the Uruguayans wide open in midfield. Never really got on the ball.
1. Keylor Navas – 8
Commanding and confident throughout. Never looked in trouble with crosses or set pieces, made saves when needed and almost got to the penalty too.
3. Giancarlo Gonzalez – 7
Started nervous but hardly put a foot wrong once he got over the nerves. A constant threat from set pieces too.
4. Michael Umana – 8
Excellent throughout at the back. Rarely made a mistake and kept Cavani, Forlan and Stuani quiet.
5. Celso Borges – 7
Helped keep the ball when Costa Rica had it and worked hard for the team.
6. Oscar Duarte – 7
Nervy start but commanded the back line as the game wore on and got himself on the scoresheet.
7. Cristian Bolanos – 7
Tidy in possession and worked hard throughout. Set piece delivery caused numerous problems for Uruguay and led to the second goal.
9. Joel Campbell – 9
The best player on the pitch by a long, long way.
10. Bryan Ruiz – 6
Worked hard off the ball but was mostly anonymous throughout. Replaced late on.
15. Junior Diaz – 7
Gave away the penalty but did well going forward and improved defensively as the game wore on.
16. Cristian Gamboa – 7
Excellent defensively and his pace caused problems for Caceres. Excellent cross for the first goal too.
17. Yeltsin Tejeda – 7
The extra man in midfield at all times for Costa Rica was excellent at breaking up Uruguay attacks before they could get anywhere. Reckless at times with his tackling but willing to put his foot in.
11. Michael Barrantes – 5
Came on with little time to make any kind of impact.
21. Marco Urena – 6
Came on and scored with his first touch. Kept the Uruguayan centre backs on their toes late on.
22. Jose Cubero – 6
On to shore up the midfield and went about his work quietly. Involved in the build up to the third goal.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Joel Campbell – Costa Rica
The best player on the pitch by far, Campbell was electric throughout. He had the confidence to attempt shots from range and his pace and trickery gave Uruguay nightmares. Willing to drop deep and get involved and his pass for the third goal was simply world class. Very exciting talent who looks set to have a great tournament.