Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Pakistan: Imran Khan, from the cricket field to politics

Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Julie Gayet wins privacy case against French glossy Closer

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

Sport

Midnight for Costa Rica’s Cinderella story in Brazil?

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-07-05

Undefeated Costa Rica have been the biggest surprise of this year’s World Cup in Brazil, but the Central American team's magic might be running out as they come up against European heavyweight Holland on Saturday night.

Costa Rica, ranked 34 in the world by FIFA as recently as May, hope to continue their fairytale run at the World Cup when they meet Holland in a quarter-final waltz in the northern city of Salvador.

The Central American team turned heads by finishing at the head of Group D, pulling upset victories against Uruguay and Italy – two teams ranked in FIFA’s Top 10 – in the first round of the tournament.

Led by the crafty playmaker and captain Bryan Ruiz, they have surprised teams with lightning counter-attacks and an unyielding defense.

Costa Rica held Greece, another World Cup underdog, to a 1-1 draw in their final-16 matchup on June 29. They eventually beat the European side on penalties, advancing to their historic-first appearance in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Explosive offense

However, repeating a similar feat against Holland, which counts some of the world’s top players, will be close to impossible for Costa Rica.

Louis van Gaal’s orange-clad Dutch force have drilled in 12 goals in four games, ejecting defending champions Spain and regional powerhouse Mexico from the current tournament.

The offensive duo of Robben van Persie and Arjen Robben has proven dangerous at any moment of the game.

Down 1-0 against Mexico in their last match on June 29, Holland equalised with 12 minutes left in the game and netted another goal in extra time to move into the quarter finals.

Date created : 2014-07-05

  • WORLD CUP 2014

    Argentina take on Belgium's 'golden generation'

    Read more

  • WORLD CUP 2014

    Injury knocks Brazil’s star Neymar out of World Cup

    Read more

  • WORLD CUP 2014

    Germany beat France 1-0 to reach World Cup semis

    Read more

COMMENT(S)