• Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Unbeaten Costa Rica group's best

Gary Cahill (L) and Steven Gerrard of England look on after a 0-0 draw during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Costa Rica and England at Estadio Mineirao on June 24, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Photo: Getty Images
Gary Cahill (L) and Steven Gerrard of England look on after a 0-0 draw during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Costa Rica and England at Estadio Mineirao on June 24, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Photo: Getty Images

 

Group Match

Group D, Match 6

England ended their World Cup campaign with a dour 0-0 draw against Costa Rica, as Jorge Pinto's side clinched top spot in Group D, reports Goal.com.

The tournament's surprise package thrilled with skill and ambition in shock wins over Uruguay and Italy that secured their passage to the last 16.

The pre-tournament outsiders found themselves in the unexpected position of being able to leave plenty in the tank in Belo Horizonte - an admirable achievement that did not make for an engaging spectacle.

Celso Borges had a first-half free-kick touched against the crossbar, while the bulk of England's chances fell to Daniel Sturridge - one of only two survivors from the line-up that lost the opening two matches.

The Liverpool striker found the prolific streak he displayed in the Premier League last season to have deserted him, and Roy Hodgson's team could take little from the contest aside from avoiding the ignominy of losing all three World Cup round-robin games for the first time in their history.

Uruguay's 1-0 win in a similarly scrappy encounter against Italy in Natal ensured that Group D claimed the scalps of two European teams.

Joel Campbell saw a speculative second-minute effort deflect wide and Costa Rica's control of the opening exchanges underlined the gulf in confidence between the two teams.

The 12th minute brought England's first sight of goal, with Sturridge whipping a shot narrowly wide of the target following bright build-up play by Jack Wilshere.

A 15th-minute Mexican wave rippling through the Estadio Mineirao said much for the lack of intensity in a game between one side already through to the round of 16 and another with their bags packed, before Sturridge tried his luck from distance once more.

Ben Foster was the first goalkeeper called into action when he superbly tipped Borges’ free-kick behind via his crossbar.

Sturridge had a 27th-minute penalty claim rejected, going to ground under close attention from Oscar Duarte, and another half-chance fell the striker’s way, but he could not keep his header down after Phil Jones nodded Ross Barkley's corner back across goal.

Barkley fashioned space for himself in the 42nd minute, but his subsequent slice wide underscored a half desperately lacking in quality.

Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas was out to quickly to thwart Sturridge as Luke Shaw’s deflected 49th-minute shot looped into his path.

Shaw was fortunate not to join Adam Lallana and Barkley in the book amid a scrappy period as the hour approached, while Giancarlo Gonzalez was deservedly cautioned for scything through the latter.

Christian Bolanos looked to do something a touch more constructive when he stung Foster's palms from 20 yards, while Sturridge exchanged passes with Wilshere and wasted his clearest opportunity of the match in the 65th minute.

A flurry of late substitutions did not increase the entertainment factor as Costa Rica looked forward to a knockout clash against the runner-up in Group C - where Ivory Coast, Greece and Japan all retain ambitions of following likely winners Colombia into the knockout stages later today.

For England, who belatedly extended Navas when substitute Wayne Rooney sent a delicate 80th-minute chip goalwards, a grimly familiar period of reflection and attempted renewal awaits.

Man of the Match: K Navas (CRC)

Match Commentary - as it happened

And so ends England's World Cup campaign and I suppose it is fitting that it ends with a drab 0-0 draw. Costa Rica officially go through to the next round as Group winners, pipping Uruguay to the post following their win over Italy. Ultimately there is not an awful lot to say about this result which has not already been said with regards to England's overall campaign. Once again they were not good enough and yet again they leave the World Cup early. Costa Rica, however, will go on to meet Group C runners-up, which will be determined later today.

90' + 3' FULL-TIME!

90' + 1' There will be three minutes of stoppage time.

89' Gerrard slips the ball into the danger area and Rooney looks destined to nod it in at the far post, but he can't quite reach it and the ball goes out for a goal kick.

88' Free-kick to England now as Rooney drops very deep, skips past one challenge and is then dragged back by Tejeda. Gerrard steps up to take the set-piece.

86' England are still looking to claim a victory here, with lofted passes from the back constantly being played for Sturridge. Not many of them are coming off, though.

84' Good work by Jones as Bolanos runs at the Manchester United man and looks to have beaten the defender, but he battles back and clears well. He did well there.

82' We are running out of time in Belo Horizonte, but few would be too disappointed if the referee ended things now. There is not an awful lot happening, with this match seemingly petering to a halt.

80' Rooney's first involvement is a clever piece of play as his first touch takes him away from two defenders and then produces a chip, which Navas tips on to the roof of the goal.

78' Substitution: Celso Borges out, Michael Barrantes Rojas in.

78' Here comes the latest Costa Rica change as Celso Borges is replaced by Barrantes for the final 12 minutes or so.

76' Substitution: James Milner out, Wayne Rooney in.

76' Gerrard takes the corner from the left, but Jones is unable to get his header on target from the back post, sending it towards the other corner flag while on the stretch.

75' England win a corner as Sterling chases down a loose forward pass. He keeps it in, but Gamboa is right behind him and he clears his lines.

73' Substitution: Jack Wilshere out, Steven Gerrard in.

73' Off goes Wilshere as Gerrard comes on, edging to within one cap of David Beckham's record.

 

Oscar Duarte of Costa Rica challenges Adam Lallana of England during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Costa Rica and England at Estadio Mineirao on June 24, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Photo: Getty Images
Oscar Duarte of Costa Rica challenges Adam Lallana of England during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Costa Rica and England at Estadio Mineirao on June 24, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Photo: Getty Images

 

72' The referee blows his whistle almost as soon as Ruiz whips the corner in as he spotted a foul by Duarte on Foster.

71' The Costa Ricans get forward down the right as they look to make the most of this counter chance. Gamboa is brought down by Sterling, by only a corner is given.

70' England's corner is cleared out to the middle of the half and then Sterling loses the ball, allowing Costa Rica the chance to launch a counterattack.

69' England are denied another penalty! Sturridge is at the centre again. This time he races into a channel and bursts into the area, before going down under pressure from Gonzalez, but the replays suggest the referee made the correct decision. Corner to England.

67' Joel Campbell was a little disappointing today. The Arsenal forward did threaten on a few occasions in the first half, but since the break he went back into his shell and he now gets a rest.

65' Substitution: Joel Campbell out, M. Ureña in.

65' SUPERB MOVE BY ENGLAND! Sturridge has been quiet in the second half, but he explodes into life now. The Liverpool forward attacks from the right, plays a one-two with Barkley and then clips a curled effort towards the bottom-left corner, but he agonisingly sends it just wide.

63' Jones gives the ball away yet again, this time passing straight to Ruiz. The Fulham star feeds Bolanos, who tries his luck from distance, but Foster does well to hold on to it.

62' Substitution: Adam Lallana out, Raheem Sterling in.

61' In disappointing fashion, Lampard smashes his low free-kick straight into the wall and Costa Rica eventually clear following a bit of a melee in the area.

60' Yellow Card Giancarlo González

60' Cynical foul by Gonzalez as he halts the advance of the rampaging Barkley and he earns a yellow card for his troubles. Lampard looks to be eyeing this free-kick, which is about 25 yards out.

59' Substitution: R. Brenes out, Christian Bolaños in.

59' Positive move by England as Lallana races through down the left after latching on to throughball. The Southampton man then plays a good ball into the area, but Navas effectively intercepts it with a good save.

58' Borges comes through Wilshere from behind this time as he attempted to win the ball before the Arsenal midfield could control a pass, but the AIK man escapes a yellow.

57' Yellow Card Adam Lallana

57' That was rash by Lallana as he hacks Bryan Ruiz down from behind. It wasn't particularly crude, but it was definitely late and he gets a yellow card for his actions.

55' Barkley has looked very good once again today. On this occasions he goes flying past a couple of defenders down the left and then plays the ball back inside for Wilshere, but the Arsenal man runs into a defender and concedes possession.

53' Yellow Card Ross Barkley

53' England are enjoying a good start to this second half. Lallana again gets in behind Diaz to collect a lofted pass and he cuts the ball into the area, but he plays it just behind Sturridge and Barkley.

51' After a pause in play as Navas seeks medical attention for a cut on his thigh, we are back underway.

49' BIG SAVE BY NAVAS! Costa Rica cleared the initial free-kick, but the ball was picked up just outside the area by Jones. He manages to get a shot away and it is deflected into the box for Sturridge. The forward's first touch is poor and he then stretches to poke it goalwards, but Navas makes a crucial block, throwing his body on the line.

 

Luke Shaw of England controls the ball against Joel Campbell of Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Costa Rica and England at Estadio Mineirao on June 24, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Photo: Getty Images
Luke Shaw of England controls the ball against Joel Campbell of Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Costa Rica and England at Estadio Mineirao on June 24, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Photo: Getty Images

 

48' Good play by Shaw as he shows a good burst of pace to charge up the left flank and win a free-kick from Gamboa. Hopefully we will see more of that in this half, because he was very quiet before the break.

46'  England get the action re-started.

The referee calls a halt to play without allowing any stoppage time, but few will complain about that. It has been by no means one of the better matches at this World Cup and England continue to look unconvincing. They may be able to take solace in the fact that Costa Rica have not cut through them like they did to Italy and Uruguay, but Hodgson's men still haven't been particularly impressive. Borges had the best chance of the half as his free-kick crashed against the crossbar, while Sturridge went close a couple of times for England. Hopefully things will liven up a little more after the break, but I won't be holding my breath!

45' HALF-TIME!

43' This is a good opportunity for Costa Rica now as they win a free-kick about 30 yards from the England goal. Brenes takes the kick and floats it towards the back post, but the assistant has his flag up for offside. What a waste.

41' Lovely play by Barkley as the midfielder receives a clever pass by Wilshere and then bursts forward. The Everton man plays a one-two with Sturridge and then races past two defenders, before blazing a left-footed effort wide.

39' Milner, who has been wasteful so far, loses the ball on the left and Costa Rica are quick to charge up the flank. Gamboa links with Ruiz and then crosses deep, but Foster once again collects in commanding fashion.

37' England have certainly grown into this and have largely kept Costa Rica at bay, apart from that Borges free-kick. The attacking midfielders are starting to liven up, while Sturridge looks a threat, even if he has wasted a few chances now.

 

Daniel Sturridge of England reacts as he's challenged by Cristian Gamboa (L) and Giancarlo Gonzalez of Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Costa Rica and England at Estadio Mineirao on June 24, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Photo: Getty Images
Daniel Sturridge of England reacts as he's challenged by Cristian Gamboa (L) and Giancarlo Gonzalez of Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Costa Rica and England at Estadio Mineirao on June 24, 2014 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Photo: Getty Images

 

35' STURRIDGE GOES CLOSE! Barkley delivers another corner towards the back post and Jones meets it with a towering header. He nods the ball back into the danger area and Sturridge meets it, only to head it on to the roof of the net.

34' Almost a Costa Rican own-goal! Barkley's corner gets all the way through to the back post and Miller - who clearly thought Cahill was going to get a touch - sees the ball strike him and just about go wide. He knew little about that, though.

33' Decent move by England as Lampard plays a good lofted pass over the left-back for Lallana to run on to and after collecting, the attacking midfielder sees his cross deflected behind for a corner.

31' England win a free-kick now as Wilshere is fouled about 35 yards from the Costa Rica goal, but Lampard opts to play it short and work the ball towards the area. However, they fail pretty miserably as Costa Rica win the ball back within 10 seconds.

29' Free-kick to Costa Rica on the right side of their defensive third as Barkley catches Gamboa with a late tackle, with the right-back showing quick feet.

28' ENGLAND DENIED A PENALTY! Wilshere digs a cross out from the left and after the ball is knocked down to Sturridge in the area, Duarte bundles the forward over by running into his back. The referee opts against a penalty, though!

26' That was a promising move by England. Lallana raced forward down the right as England launched a counter, but his poked pass into the danger area is hit a little behind Barkley.

25' Once again, the Costa Rica corner comes to nothing as Foster collects comfortably. England now look to spring a counterattack down the right-hand side.

24' England partially clear the corner as Ruiz's delivery comes to nothing, but Campbell wins another after running at Milner and manufacturing a deflection.

23' BORGES HITS THE BAR! The AIK midfielder's effort was excellent and appeared to be heading towards the roof of the net, but Foster tips it on to the crossbar. Corner for Costa Rica.

22' Costa Rica win a free-kick in a great position as Campbell runs at the England defence and is tripped by Lallana about 30 yards out. Borges, who is good from long range, lines this up.

20' Lampard and Sturridge link up well just outside the Costa Rica area as England try to take charge of this match, but the latter's back-heel attempt is cut out by Gonzalez.

18' Speculative effort from Sturridge as the ball sits up kindly for him about 25 yards from the Costa Rica goal, but his half-volley goes well wide of Navas' left-hand post.

17' An England counterattack appears to be brewing as Lampard picks out Lallana in his own half and the Southampton man swiftly finds Sturridge in the centre-circle, but he is fouled by Duarte, who nips the England counter in the bud.

15' A Mexican wave makes its way around the stands now, which is hardly surprising. There isn't much happening on the pitch, so fans clearly feel obliged to amuse themselves.

13' Decent effort by Sturridge! Wilshere drives forward from midfield and lays a pass off to the Liverpool striker on the edge of the area. Costa Rica afford him lots of space and he fires towards the right side of the goal, but his effort goes agonisingly wide.

12' Hardly an encouraging start for England. They have struggled to get hold of the ball and they have been very sloppy with their passing.

10' Lampard's control on the edge of the Costa Rica area is poor and it allows the Central Americans to launch a counterattack. They are quick to find Campbell on the left and he plays it inside to Ruiz. The Fulham attacker picks out a reverse pass into the area for Brenes, but he is narrowly offside.

9' Lallana loses the ball out on the left, but he shows good determination to chase Gamboa down and forcing it back out of play. There has not been much of a flow to this yet.

8' Ruiz flights the free-kick into the danger zone, but Foster comes out and collects with ease. He'll deal with those all day long.

8' Free-kick to Costa Rica now on the left. Diaz struggled to get the ball under control and Jones tackled him -- unfairly -- with a high foot.

7' Cahill is forced to sweep up at the back as he controls a stray Costa Rica pass with his head, but when under little pressure he slices the ball straight out for a throw-in.

5' Diaz, who has impressed so far in this tournament, gets forward well down the left and manages to release the ball before Milner catches him, but his cross in uncharacteristically poor as it flies well over the crossbar.

4' England may have drastically changed their personnel for this game, but they appear to be playing a fairly similar system. At first it looked rather like a standard 4-5-1 formation, but it could just as easily be 4-2-3-1.

2' There is the match's first shot and Ben Foster looked very worried as Campbell latches on to a pass on the edge of the England area and sees his shot deflected, but it only just goes wide of the right-hand post.

1' Costa Rica get the action started in Belo Horizonte.

Costa Rica, on the other, are already guaranteed a place in the knockout phase following very impressive wins against Italy and Uruguay in their first two games. They came into the tournament considered by no one to be challengers to win the group, but all they need to do is get a point to grab top spot.

As I am sure you will all be aware, this match won't have much influence on England's World Cup campaign. After consecutive 2-1 defeats to Italy and then Uruguay, the fate of Roy Hodgson's men was settled. Nothing they can do in this match will be enough to help them qualify as they disappoint at yet another World Cup.

England subs: Hart, Forster, Johnson, Baines, Gerrard, Jagielka, Rooney, Welbeck, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lambert, Sterling.

England (4-5-1): Foster; Jones, Cahill, Smalling, Shaw; Milner, Lampard, Wilshere, Barkley, Lallana; Sturridge.

Costa Rica subs: Acosta, Umana, Bolanos, Myrie, Barrantes, Francis, Granados, Pemberton, Calvo, Urena, Cubero, Cambronero.

Costa Rica (4-3-3): Navas; Gamboa, Gonzalez, Miller, Duarte, Diaz; Tejeda, Borges, Ruiz; Campbell, Brenes.

CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:

Commentary & Report: Goal dot com

Published: 12:56 am Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Last modified: 10:50 pm Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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