Venue – Arena Pernambuco, Recife; Date – 30th June 2014; Time – 1:30 am IST;
If someone told you in the beginning of the tournament that Greece and Costa Rica would manage to overcome the odds and qualify for the last 16, you would call them an optimist. But, that is what has transpired in the last few weeks here in Brazil. Costa Rica not only qualified but also managed to top a group that consisted of heavyweights like England, Italy and Uruguay for starters. Greece on the other hand crawled and scratched their way to the surface by registering all possible results to land themselves in the last 16 spot.
This match is a clear example of contrasting styles as Greece will look to defend beyond capacity to frustrate a positive Costa Rican side. How the Central American side manages to breach the big wall from Greece is all this competition is about.
Key factors in the match
Greece has managed to score only two goals in the World Cup and still find themselves playing in the last 16 round. They are also the only side to move to this stage with a negative goal difference.
Many have termed Greece’s footballing tactics as ‘anti football’ as they invariably look for a stalemate in all their fixtures. Greece however will stick to their game plan and attack on the counter.
Despite playing some attacking football, Costa Rica has conceded only one goal in the tournament and that was an Edinson Cavani penalty. The Tico’s are also a highly disciplined defensive side and Greece need to be vary of this.
Arsenal striker Joel Campbell is expected to be marked heavily in this fixture. He has been Costa Rica’s key player scoring one and setting up another in the group stages. He will find it hard to make the necessary space with a hoard of defenders camping around him.
Where to Watch Live:
Viewers in Brazil can watch the match live HERE, while viewers in Argentina and South America can catch the action HERE. US viewers can access it on ESPN and ABC and click HERE for online. Australians can click HERE to watch the game online, and those in Africa can view the match HERE. In India, TV channels Sony Six and Sony Six HD will show the matches live and for online live streaming of the match, click HERE. In Pakistan PTV Sport is the only channel given right to broadcast all FIFA World Cup matches and click HERE for online live streaming in Pakistan. For Live Score, many channels and online websites are there but visit the official FIFA.COM website.
This will be the first ever meeting between the two sides
Costa Rica’s dream run lands them in the last 16 round for only the second time after 1990
First time Greece have gone beyond the group stages at the world cup
Greece’s major wins in the tournament have all been with a 1 goal difference. They have managed four 1-0 wins and two 2-1 wins.
Costa Rica has topped three former World Cup winners — Uruguay, Italy and England, while Greece has emerged against expectations, often bouncing back from an opening heavy defeat to Colombia to reach the top 16 teams, thanks to a late penalty against Ivory Coast. Equally poised to win, both teams show comfort in playing off the back foot but Costa Rica has more attacking mettle than Greece, especially in the hot and humid conditions of Recife.
Our Prediction: Costa Rica 1-0 Greece
Goal.com: 2-0 to Costa Rica
BBC: 2-0 to Costa Rica
SB Nation: 0-0 (to be decided in a penalty shootout)
Bleacher Report: 2-0 to Costa Rica