Costa Rica topples Greece on penalties, reaches World Cup quarters

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Recife, Brazil (4E Sports) – Michael Umana’s decisive penalty propelled Costa Rica past Greece, 5-3 in a shootout at Arena Pernambuco.

Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas blocked a string of shots in the game and made a one-handed save of Fanis Gekas’s penalty.

Bryan Ruiz scored in the 52nd minute to give Costa Rica a 1-0 lead.

Costa Rica still seemed to be on course for a victory until the first minute of added-on time when Sokratis Papastathopoulos scored.

Gekas pounced on a loose ball that was blocked by Navas, but Papastathopoulos slammed home the rebound to tie the game.

Celso Borges, Bryan Ruiz, Giancarlo Gonzalez and Joel Campbell then sank Costa Rica’s first penalty kicks.

Meanwhile, Konstantinous Mitroglou, Lazaros Christodoulopoulus, and Jose Holebas connected on Greece’s first three penalties before Navas pushed away an attempt by Gekas.

With Costa Rica leading 4-3, Umana stepped up to beat Orestis Karnezis from the spot.

The win paved the way for Costa Rica to reach the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time.

They are set to clash with the Netherlands on July 6.

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