I think it’s safe to say none of us saw that coming. Italy were beaten 1-0 in Recife by a determined, attacking, well-organized Costa Rican team. The fatal goal was scored by Bryan Ruiz just before half time. The Fulham and PSV striker pulled into the far post to plant home a header that bounced over the line. The result officially eliminates England from the tournament.
Here’s out it went down in the Arena Pernambucano:
Bryan Ruiz Was the Star
After Joel Campbell’s heroics for Costa Rica against Uruguay, it was the more experienced captain, Bryan Ruiz, who starred for the underdogs in this one. He held up the play brilliantly, allowing his midfielders, and Joel Campbell, to get into threatening positions. And of course there was his goal, a typical header after the Italian defense lapsed in concentration.
Italy Will Not Learn
As the great Barry Davies might say, the Italians “will not learn.” After the positive win against Italy, the Azzuri went into their shell and played defensive soccer, hoping for a moment of magic from Mario Balotelli, it never came.
This Is What the World Cup Is About
What a story? Costa Rica were the rank outsiders in one of the toughest groups imaginable, England is eliminated, and Uruguay play Italy in a winner take all clash on June 24.