AL RAYYAN, Qatar: Costa Rica’s core of stars like Keylor Navas, Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz created nationwide soccer historical past in a memorable run to the 2014 World Cup quarterfinals.
They had been all nonetheless there Tuesday, all with greater than 100 appearances, all key to a 1-0 win over New Zealand in a World Cup intercontinental playoff in Qatar.
All earned a ticket again to Doha for Costa Rica in November and their third straight World Cup match collectively.
“Right this moment is a joyful day,” stated Navas, the captain and goalkeeper whose saves late within the sport preserved the lead earned by Campbell’s third-minute objective. “We performed many finals to be right here, we performed many matches through which we knew we couldn’t make any errors. And at this time was one other a kind of.”
Costa Rica accomplished a 32-nation World Cup lineup by withstanding a New Zealand crew that rallied from the early setback to dominate possession and create extra and higher scoring possibilities.
New Zealand pressed, and Navas responded, even after happening to 10 males for the final quarter of the match within the air-conditioned Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on the outskirts of Doha.
Two key choices after video overview went towards the Kiwis, canceling out a doable equalizing objective by Chris Wooden within the thirty ninth and making certain a crimson card within the 69th for a foul by Kosta Barbarouses. The midfielder was on the sphere as an alternative choice to simply 9 minutes.
Within the tense late phases, Navas rose to push away a curling left-foot shot by Clayton Lewis and received down to dam Wooden’s low drive.
It lifted Costa Rica to a World Cup place that appeared unlikely after a sluggish begin final yr within the eight-team North American qualifying group.
“This squad exhibits what it’s wish to be Costa Rican. They by no means stop, they at all times give 100%,” stated coach Luis Fernando Suárez, whose gamers reeled off 4 straight wins in February and March to earn the playoff entry.
New Zealand failed once more within the remaining qualifying check. The most recent Kiwis loss in intercontinental playoffs adopted exits towards Mexico for the 2014 match and Peru 4 years later.
Costa Rica coach Suárez scored his personal World Cup hat trick. He beforehand took Ecuador to the 2006 match and led Honduras there in 2014.
“It’s an obsession that I at all times pursued. To be on this place is gorgeous,” Suarez stated.
A tricky World Cup project awaits as Suarez and his crew will face two of the previous three champions in Group E. Spain are the primary opponent on Nov. 23, then Japan and Germany.
Costa Rica scored from their first assault when Campbell, the previous Arsenal ahead, muscled between two defenders close to the penalty spot to fulfill a low cross from teenager Jewison Bennette. Campbell directed a left-foot shot low into the far nook of the online.
A World Cup place was the right reward for Bennette, who turns 18 on Wednesday.
North American soccer now matches conventional energy South America in having 4 groups on the final of the 32-nation World Cups.
Costa Rica joins Canada, the US and Mexico — the three co-hosts of the expanded 48-team match in 2026 — which superior instantly in March from regional qualifying.
Peru’s playoff loss to Australia on Monday in Qatar meant the South American problem is simply Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and — for now — Ecuador.
Ecuador’s place is being challenged by Chile in a dispute over an alleged ineligible participant. Chile are concentrating on an enchantment after FIFA shut down a disciplinary investigation final week.
Chile’s pending enchantment means Tuesday’s playoff isn’t but the final phrase on the World Cup lineup and never even the final sport within the three-year world qualifying program.
FIFA has ordered Brazil and Argentina to replay their sport deserted final September in chaotic scenes. Brazilian well being officers got here on the sphere to dispute the quarantine standing of some Argentina gamers.
The final official qualifier is scheduled for Sept. 22, simply two months earlier than the Nov. 21-Dec. 18 match.