Against incredible odds, Costa Rica clinched a spot in the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a 1-0 upset win over Italy on Friday in what might be the best moment in the nation’s sporting history.
Costa Rica already had beaten heavily favored Uruguay 3-1 in the first group-stage game and will now look to sweep Group D when it faces England on Tuesday.
Italy’s lineup was bolstered by the return of veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a defeat to Costa Rica. Bryan Ruiz’s brilliant header goal in the 44th minute — which came about 60 seconds after the referee made a controversial decision not to award Costa Rica a penalty kick — was enough to secure an impressive victory.
Italy can advance to the knockout stage of the tournament with a win or a draw against Uruguay on Tuesday. Uruguay needs a victory over Italy. England has been eliminated from contention before the Round of 16 for the first time since 1958.
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