Costa Rica floor poor Uruguay
Joel Campbell, Oscar Duarte and Marcos Urena scored as Costa Rica came from behind to stun Uruguay 3-1 in their World Cup Group D clash at the Estadio Castelao on Saturday.
Uruguay started brightly and took a deserved lead after 23 minutes when Edinson Cavani tucked home from the penalty spot.
The South Americans had chances to double their lead, but Costa Rica were back on level terms in the 54th minute when Campbell fired home.
Three minutes later, Duarte completed a remarkable turnaround when he made it 2-1 to Costa Rica with a well-taken diving header.
Uruguay did their best to get back into the game, but it was Costa Rica who wrapped up the win in the 84th minute when Urena finished well to secure three precious points against their more-fancied Group D rivals.
Indeed, the Uruguayans made much of the early running and had the ball in the net after 14 minutes when Cavani’s flick-on was volleyed home by Diego Godin, but the Atletico Madrid centre-half was correctly flagged offside.
Moments later, Cavani flashed a volley well wide when well placed as Uruguay continued to pile on the pressure.
However, the PSG striker was not to be denied in the 23rd minute when he coolly converted from the spot for his 22nd international goal after Diego Lugano was man-handled in the box by Junior Diaz.
Costa Rica, by contrast, had limited openings in the opening 45 minutes; Campbell flashing one shot wide and Giancarlo Gonzalez just unable to stretch enough to get his head to the ball with the goal gaping.
But Costa Rica were indebted to keeper Keylor Navas a minute before the interval when he acrobatically kept out a deflected Diego Forlan shot.
Costa Rica made a bright start to the second half and scored a well-worked equaliser in the 54th minute when Cristian Gamboa’s cross from the right touchline found Campbell, who chested the ball down before drilling a powerful strike past Fernando Muslera from 12 yards.
Three minutes later, Duarte then made it 2-1 to Costa Rica; the centre-half scoring his first international goal by getting the better of Christian Stuani to direct a brilliant diving header into the far corner of Muslera’s goal.
The Costa Ricans now had their tails up and were fractions away from making it 3-1 when Campbell’s 25-yard strike hit the stanchion with Muslera beaten.
Uruguay pushed for an equaliser, but could not find a way through against a well-marshalled Costa Rican defence, and with Jorge Luis Pinto’s side looking threatening on the break, they sealed the win when Campbell’s pass released substitute Urena who slid the ball home with his first touch of the ball.
Uruguay’s miserable night was complete in added-on time when Maxi Perreira was shown a straight red card for lashing out and must now serve a ban in Thursday’s clash against England.