Costa Rica almost knocks off world champion Spain

November 16, 2011

The Costa Rican national soccer team Tuesday night looked stellar for more than 90 minutes against the reigning world champion Spain team, but in extra time the Ticos fumbled the upset, settling for a 2-2 draw at the National Stadium in west San José.

 In the pregame warm-ups, the crowd seemed more excited to see the Spaniards take the pitch. If the Chinese had built a roof on the stadium, it would have been torn right off by the roar of fans at Spain’s appearance on the field. The greeting Costa Rica received paled in comparison.
 Spain, hoping to bounce back after a 1-0 friendly defeat to England on Saturday, were listless in their attack in the first half of the contest, and the Ticos struck first.
 

Costa Rica’s Randall Brenes came close to glory in the 24th minute with a near miss. He found redemption in the 31st minute, driving into the goal box. Spanish keeper Iker Casillas, making his 127th appearance for Spain, charged the ball but slipped, allowing Brenes to put a harried chip shot into the back of the net.
 

Eleven minutes later, Joel Campbell broke through Spanish defenses and put the Ticos up 2-0 with a rocket from just inside the goal box.
 Spain, which has swept through its Euro qualifying campaign, has apparently found it harder to get the competitive juices flowing for friendlies.
 

Spain-CR

Michael Barrantes (no. 11), of Costa Rica, battles with Juan Mata, of Spain, for the ball during an international friendly at the National Stadium that ended in a, 2-2, draw Tuesday afternoon.


Alberto Font

But in the second half, Spain finally showed why its squad won the 2010 World Cup, stepping things up in the second half after a spate of substitutions.
 Rain changed the dynamics of the game, and the visitors came back from the locker room with renewed determination. They dominated the second half, pushing hard on the Tico defenses, which held strong until David Silva fired one into the net for Spain in the 37th minute.
 

Down 2-1 at the end of regulation, Barcelona striker David Villa slipped the equalizing goal past Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas in the first minute of injury time, leaving the hosts stunned. Five more minutes of play did nothing to change the outcome, and the Ticos ended up with a hard-fought – and surprisingly disappointing – draw.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)
Pic of the Day
65 views
Pic of the Day
65 views

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 18, 2019

Isla Nublar, the setting for much of the "Jurassic Park" series, is unfortunately not a real Costa Rican island. Cocos…

Costa Rica holds Maduro regime responsible for diplomat’s safety
Costa Rica
11 views
Costa Rica
11 views

Costa Rica holds Maduro regime responsible for diplomat’s safety

AFP and The Tico Times - April 18, 2019

The Costa Rican Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it places responsibility with the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro for…

Venezuela withdraws diplomatic credential from Costa Rican diplomat
Latin America
25 views
Latin America
25 views

Venezuela withdraws diplomatic credential from Costa Rican diplomat

AFP and The Tico Times - April 17, 2019

Venezuela withdrew the diplomatic credential from the Costa Rican chargé d'affaires on Tuesday in retaliation for the country’s acceptance of…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!