By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Costa Rica came from behind to stun two-time world champions Uruguay 3-1 at the Estádio Castelão in Fortaleza in World Cup Group D. Considered by many the Group of Death, Costa Rica pulled off arguably the surprise of the tournament so far.
Outnumbered by the Uruguay fans by over 14,000, at the final whistle it was only the Costa Ricans who could be heard inside the Castelão. Despite still being in the early stages, the result will surely go down as one of the shocks of this tournament.
Star striker Luís Suarez was missing for the South Americans, but they could still count on the talents of Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani. The latter put them ahead from the penalty spot on 27 minutes after Diego Lugano was pulled to the ground inside the area.
Set up as a defensively disciplined unit, Costa Rica had only forward Joel Campbell operating as an attacking outlet, and his performance after the interval was worthy of winning any game. First, he pulled his side level nine minutes into the second half with a cool left-footed finish.
Three minutes later, Oscar Duarte crept around the back of an oblivious Uruguayan defense to angle a header past Musrela in goal. Costa Rica were ahead for the first time in the match, and did all they could to wind down the clock on a historic victory.
Uruguay, meanwhile, sent on Alvaro González and Nicolas Lodeiro to attempt to unlock their stubborn opponents as time ran out. It was ultimately futile. Six minutes from time, Marco Ureña scored Costa Rica’s decisive third with his first touch, slotting past an out-rushing Musrela after latching onto a pinpoint pass from man-of-the-match Campbell.
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