Uruguay failed to overcome the absence of Luis Suarez as a shock 3-1 loss to Costa Rica left their World Cup dream in tatters, Goal.com reports.
With Italy and England completing a strong-looking Group D, Costa Rica were expected to be the whipping boys even with Uruguay's star striker Suarez - still recovering from a knee injury - unable to take the field in Fortaleza on Saturday.
The game followed the script initially as Costa Rica's defensive gameplan was ruined by Edinson Cavani putting Uruguay ahead from the penalty spot in the 24th minute.
However, the two-time world champions were then left stunned as their opponents counter-attacked with purpose and scored three second-half goals to spring a major surprise.
Joel Campbell and Oscar Duarte found the net in a stunning three-minute period, before substitute Marco Urena made the game safe in the closing stages.
With talisman Suarez seemingly too unfit to leave the bench, a stunned Uruguay were unable to avoid a loss that leaves their hopes of progressing bleak. An injury-time red card for Maxi Pereira only served to compound their misery.
There were plenty of early warning signs as Uruguay struggled to break down their opponents' 4-5-1 formation; the first time they did, Diego Godin saw his stabbed finish ruled out for offside.
Their annoyance grew stronger soon after, too, as the usually-reliable Cavani missed a golden opportunity when volleying wide from a deflected Diego Forlan free-kick.
Costa Rica's failure to heed that warning proved costly as Junior Diaz hauled down Diego Lugano in the box from an identical Forlan set-piece.
Cavani made no mistake this time as he arrowed a penalty beyond the dive of Keylor Navas.
Yet Jorge Luis Pinto's side found a response, showing they had the attacking capabilities to match their defensive nous in a promising spell highlighted by Campbell firing narrowly wide with a fizzing strike from distance.
Man of the Match: J. Campbell (CRC)
As it happened
FULL TIME - Uruguay 1-3 Costa Rica: La Celeste took the lead in the first half through Cavani's penalty but los Ticos showed their character to come from behind with goals from Campbell, Duarte and Urena securing them a huge three points in the opening game of Group D. Maxi Pereira was shown a red card for an appalling tackle late on as Uruguay's campaign gets off to a miserable start.
90` + 5`THERE IS THE FINAL WHISTLE! AN HISTORIC VICTORY FOR COSTA RICA!
90` + 4`Red Card Maxi Pereira
90` + 3` The free kick is taken short and Campbell carries it towards the corner. Two Celeste players come to close him down and he wins a corner off of Lodeiro. More time to wind down the clock now.
90` + 2` Barrantes is down on the near side after a coming together with Maxi Pereira. The Benfica man was nowhere near winning that one, and los Ticos have a free kick in a great area.
90` We are going to have five, yes FIVE, minutes of added time here!
89` Substitution: Christian Bolaños out, Michael Barrantes Rojas in
89` Muslera hoofs the ball up from the back and Giancarlo Gonzalez heads it straight back. Once more the ball is sent long and yet again the Costa Rica centre-back is there to clear the danger.
88` The final change for los Ticos sees Bolanos make way for Barrantes. This looks beyond doubt now. Uruguay have been below par all afternoon.
86` That should be enough to see Costa Rica to their first ever victory over Uruguay at the ninth time of asking. Suarez looks disconsolate on the bench on the near side! How he would have loved to have been out there today.
84` Assist Joel Campbell
84` Goal M. Ureña
GOOOOOOOOAL!! COSTA RICA HAVE A THIRD! A lovely through-ball from Campbell cuts through the Uruguay defence and Urena, who has only been on the pitch for two minutes, latches onto it and slides a brilliant finish past Muslera from an acute angle. Costa Rica lead 3-1!
83` Substitution: Bryan Ruiz out, M. Ureña in
82` Time is winding down for Tabarez's men! They look extremely rushed in possession now but Costa Rica are keeping their discipline at the back and are proving difficult to break down.
81` Yellow Card Martín Cáceres
80` There are just 10 minutes left to play now! The referee awards a free kick to Costa Rica inside their own box and Cavani chases down the ball to encourage them to get on with it as quickly as possible. This is going to be a hot close to the game!
78` STAT: Los Ticos conceded only seven goals in 10 games during the final phase of CONCACAF qualifying. It might not be so easy for Uruguay to add to their tally late on, then!
76` Substitution: Cristian Rodríguez out, Abel Hernández in
76` Los Ticos have another corner but before they can take it Tabarez introduces the pacy Abel Hernandez into the action. Costa Rica are unable to make anything from the set play when the game resumes, though. Are they just going to try and soak up the pressure in these final stages?
74` Substitution: Y. Tejeda out, José Miguel Cubero Loria in
74` Costa Rica make their first change with Tejeda being replaced by Cubero. Los Ticos are a little over 15 minutes away from a famous win!
72` Uruguay are stepping up the pressure now! Another corner is sent into the box but no one connects and Gamboa is able to sprint down the other end with the ball. He gets to the corner but is unable to hold it up, but his team-mates will appreciate the breather.
70` GOOD SAVE! The ball is eventually swung into the middle and Cavani beats Giancarlo Gonzalez to the header. He does brilliantly to place his header on target but a flying Navas parries it away from goal. One for the cameras, that!
70` GREAT MOVE! Cavani and Lodeiro combine splendidly down the left flank, with the latter putting a great ball across the box that is begging for a tap in. However, no one is there to supply the finish and Diaz nods it out for a corner.
69` Borges tries his luck from distance but his effort sails rather harmlessly over the top of goal. Still, it goes to show the levels of confidence currently coursing through this Costa Rica side.
68` Cavani ghosts in behind the defence to bring down a long diagonal pass but the official on the near side signals that he was in an offside position. Uruguay are clearly feeling the pressure now. A loss here could be catastrophic to their campaign with England and Italy still to play.
66` Another chance for Costa Rica from a set play! Bolanos' delivery is again pinpoint but Ruiz directs his header wide of the far post. Muslera is quick to request another ball so that play can continue.
64` CAMPBELL!! SO, SO CLOSE! Another exceptionally ambitious, but exquisitely executed, effort from the Arsenal man as he bends a powerful effort towards the top-left corner. Muslera is completely stranded but can breathe a sigh of relief as the shot narrowly misses the target and strikes the stanchion behind the goal.
62` That left side just isn't providing the same sort of rewards for Uruguay as it had in the first half. White shirts are closing the ball exceptionally quickly when it enters their half and Uruguay are finding it difficult to find any space.
60` Substitution: Walter Gargano out, Alvaro Gonzalez in
60` Substitution: Diego Forlán out, N. Lodeiro in
60` Tabarez rings the changes following that goal. Forlan is replaced by Nicolas Lodeiro and Gargano makes way for Alvaro Gonzalez.
59` What a turnaround from Los Ticos! Borges urges calm amongst his team-mates but they will surely be elated to have taken the lead having been behind. Some result this would be!
57` Assist Christian Bolaños
57` Goal Ó. Duarte
GOOOOOOAL!! COSTA RICA LEAD! Bolanos delivery is once more aimed to the back post where it is again met by Duarte. Stuani let him get away and this time the centre-back did not waste his chance, angling a diving header across goal and low inside the far post.
56` Yellow Card Walter Gargano
56` Los Ticos are in the ascendancy! This time it is Ruiz who carries the ball from deep through the heart of the Uruguayan midfield. He steps in front of Gargano who cannot help but bring him down and earn himself a booking.
54` Goal Joel Campbell
GOOOOOOOOAL! CAMPBELL TIES THE GAME! A tidy move down the right flank ends with a cross from out by the corner flag. Borges gets the slightest of touches on it at the near post but it is Campbell who controls the ball before lashing a fearsome strike into the bottom corner. We are all square in Fortaleza!
52` Wayward from Cavani! The PSG forward dribbles in from the left and releases an attempt on goal from in excess of 25 yards. Navas never looks worried by it, though, allowing it to fly harmlessly outside of his post.
51` IMPORTANT SAVE FROM MUSLERA! Bolanos swings the free kick to the back post where Duarte has managed to find space between Lugano and Godin. He directs his header on target but Muslera gets his body in the way of it and the centre-back is unable to divert his follow-up attempt on target.
50` Yellow Card Diego Lugano
50` Although they are seeing plenty of the ball, los Ticos seem to be lacking a real plan of action here. Once again it is left to Campbell to supply the impetus and he drops deep before turning and darting away from Lugano, winning a free kick.
48` Costa Rica appear to have settled straight back into possession, which will not be what Oscar Tabarez wanted to see. Perhaps he is hopeful of drawing the full-backs higher up the pitch so that spaces can be exposed on a potential counterattack.
HALF TIME - Uruguay 1-0 Costa Rica: La Celeste lead at half time thanks to a Cavani penalty which was awarded midway through the first half. Los Ticos, though, have kept their heads high and enjoyed their fair share of possession. If they can do more with it in the second half then they have every chance of fighting their way back into this.
45` + 3` There is the half-time whistle!
45` + 2` Gamboa finally shows a turn of pace to breeze past Arevalo down the right, and this time he manages to pick out a team-mate in the box. Campbell connects with a header but he is arching backwards and cannot direct his attempt on target.
45` There will be two added minutes at the end of the first half.
44` SUBLIME SAVE FROM NAVAS! The keeper is forced to backpedal as a shot from Forlan takes a wicked deflection which sees the ball loop up in the air but continue its path towards goal. He scrambles backwards and manages to punch the shot, which was about to drop below the bar, behind for a corner. Great goalkeeping.
43` WHAT A CHANCE! Bolanos whips the corner in and Borges gets up to try and meet it. He is followed closely be Godin, who ends up blocking Muslera from getting a hand to the ball. Fortunately for the pair it bounces just beyond the diving head of Giancarlo Gonzalez at the back post, who would have had a simple finish!
42` A decent spell in possession for Costa Rica ends with them winning a corner as Tejeda's vertical pass is deflected behind off of a Uruguayan player.
40` FORLAN! He has to do better there! Again it is down the left that la Celeste prove most dangerous, with Rodriguez and Caceres combining to great effect. The ball is eventually sent to Forlan on the edge of the box but he hesitates before pulling the trigger and that enables the defence to close in on him and force him to fire well wide of the target.
39` Costa Rica can't find a way through the centre of the park as Gargano and Arevalo seem to be everywhere. Eventually Gamboa decides to push up on the right and he receives the ball. However, his delivery is a let down and only finds the first Uruguayan shirt.
37` Campbell tries to muscle his way between Godin and Lugano to get on the end of a long ball, and with Muslera vacating his line the opportunity to nick in and score increases. However, the defenders have the numerical advantage and manage to hook the ball to safety.
36` Caceres ventures forward from left-back and plays a quick give-and-go with Rodriguez. It gets him in behind but the pass from the Atletico Madrid man is a tad too long and it enables Giancarlo Gonzalez to hoof the ball to safety.
35` Los Ticos have seen more and more of the ball as the game has grown, but other than Campbell's effort from distance they have not created anything. The striker is dropping deeper and deeper, but Ruiz and Bolanos aren't making up for his absence up top by moving brightly or combining well.
33` Rodriguez continues to cause problems out wide, winning yet another free kick as he draws a foul from Gamboa. The Costa Rica full-back hasn't figured out how to keep him at bay yet and is giving away too many cheap fouls.
31` SO CLOSE TO THE EQUALISER! The resultant free kick is flighted into the back post where Duarte knocks it down behind him. Giancarlo Gonzalez is on hand to control the ball with his chest before poking it back towards goal. The ball takes a slight deflection and hits the side netting, inches away from the frame of the goal.
30` Gargano struggles to get close to the ball in midfield and Arevalo races over to help his team-mate. He is too zealous in his attempts to help, though, and fouls Campbell while trying to win a header.
29` Costa Rica certainly aren't letting their heads drop despite going behind. There is plenty of rotation in their attack between Ruiz, Bolanos and Campbell, with the latter now dropping deep in at attempt to initiate some positive attacking play from his team. For now, the Celeste defence remains strong.
27` CAMPBELL!! OH MY! A stunning effort from the young striker! He is afforded space to run at the Uruguay defence and opts to let fly with a searing strike from 25 yards out. He hits it brilliantly but the ball arrows just outside of Muslera's left-hand post. Some goal that would have been.
26` That will come as a blow for los Ticos, who had been disciplined up to that point. Diaz just wasn't alert and had both arms round Lugano as they tumbled to ground in the box.
24` Penalty Goal Edinson Cavani
GOOOOOAL! CAVANI! The Paris Saint-Germain striker places the ball into the bottom corner with the utmost composure. Navas went the right way, but Cavani put it just out of his reach to give Uruguay the lead midway through the first half!
22` PENALTY TO URUGUAY! Tejeda, who has been very energetic so far, goes in extremely hard on Rodriguez and concedes a free kick. It is whipped into the box and the referee points to the spot for a foul by Junior Diaz on Lugano, as he dragged him to ground!
20` Neither keeper has really had anything to do yet. Chances have been at a premium with los Ticos proving organised and disciplined in defence. However, la Celeste have been unperturbed so far and continue to probe from the left.
18` It has been a fairly evenly contested opening to this game, though Uruguay have just about shaded the majority of possession. They appear to be finding space behind the Costa Rica defence despite the numbers there, but the longer they go without scoring the more frustrated they will become.
16` WHAT A MISS! Forlan's free kick delivery from deep takes a deflection off of Umana and falls to Cavani behind the defensive line. He has time to set himself as he waits for the ball to drop, but when the time comes he snatches at the volley and screws his effort well wide of the target.
15` GOAL... but it's been disallowed! Godin looped the ball over the top of Navas at the back post but was adjudged offside from Cavani's flick-on. Looks like it was the correct decision from the officials.
14` STAT: Costa Rica have lost all three previous World Cup meetings against South American opposition, conceding nine goals in the process.
12` Uruguay are coming under increasing pressure here! Godin fails to deal with a cross from Diaz and moments later is beaten to a header by Ruiz inside the box, however the Ticos' captain can't keep his effort down.
10` The ball strikes Lugano's hand in the box, but the referee awards a free kick for a preceeding foul on the defender by Duarte. Hearts must have been in mouths for a second in Montevideo, though!
9`Lovely feet from Campbell! The Arsenal youngster wriggled his way past a couple of opponents before laying the ball out to Bolanos on the left. He then tried to duck inside of Maxi Pereira but lacked the pace to get the better of the Benfica defender, who cleared away the danger.
8` Forlan shows his intelligence, peeling into space behind two defenders to try and get on the end of Caceres' long pass up from the back. Duarte gets his head to it and Navas comes off his line to mop up the loose ball.
7` A cross from the left for Tabarez's men fails to find a blue shirt at the back post and Junior Diaz attempts to race out from the back with the ball. Stuani chases him down all the way, putting enough pressure on him to shepherd him out of play and earning a throw for his team.
5`Ruiz fires a diagonal pass from deep as he spots the run of Bolanos into the area but the Uruguayan defence get to it first and manage to steer the ball into the arms of Muslera. That was a clever run from midfield but the move didn't quite come off.
4`Stuani chases down Giancarlo Gonzalez as he attempts to hook a bouncing ball away from deep in his half but the Espanyol man catches his opponent with a high foot. A free kick is instantly given and the midfielder gets away without a booking.
2` Uruguay try to attack down their right but the five-man Costa Rican defence repels them. Arevalo moves the ball out to the left but once more La Celeste cannot find a way through. Eventually Rodriguez uses his quick feet to break past his marker but his touch takes him too close to the next defender, who clears the danger and concedes a throw in.
1` Here we go! Kick off at Castelao!
Costa Rica find themselves in a group with three former champions in Uruguay, Italy, and England. Los Ticos have only progressed into the knockout stages once, back in 1990 when they first appeared in the tournament. It will be a tough ask for them to replicate that feat this time around, you would imagine.
The most recent meeting between these two nations came in the intercontinental play-off for a spot in World Cup 2010. Uruguay came out on top with a 2-1 aggregate victory and went on to finish fourth in the tournament. Their squad has aged since then, though, and it will be interesting to see whether Oscar Tabarez's team can match the level they achieved last time out.
Giancarlo Gonzalez received a red card in a 1-1 friendly draw with Republic of Ireland but has been cleared to play in this tournament - he will begin his suspension on the next friendly international. Alvaro Saborio, Bryan Oviedo and Heiner Mora have all been ruled out of the tournament due to injury but Michael Umana and Junior Diaz have overcome bouts of illness to start today.
Commentary & Report: Goal dot com