No matter the outcome of this match, Costa Rica were headinf home — but that didn’t mean they weren’t going to make a game of it. Coming into this match, they had yet to earn a point, and hadn’t yet scored a goal in World Cup play. Switzerland on the other hand, only needed a win or a draw to advance.
Costa Rica would come out in their defensive 5-4-1 but weren’t playing like it. The Tico’s came out aggressive, getting three shots on goal in just the span of the first eight minutes. While those shots may not have gone in, this was Costa Rica’s way of saying ‘we’re not leaving this World Cup without a fight’.
Keylor Navas wasn’t under much pressure to start the evening, and was rarely tested as both teams fought for possession of the ball. He would make a nice punch in the 29th minute in clearing the ball. Just two minutes later the Swiss would score against the run of play — Navas committing early to the near post whereas the ball was slotted into the far corner. He had no chance whatsoever to save that ball.
Costa Rica would generate a couple more chances with center-back Kendall Waston — one a glancing header, and the other from a set piece outside the box to the near post. He just wasn’t able to pull the trigger fast enough, and Navas was there to block the shot. And the half would end with the Swiss up 1-0.
After the restart it would take just about 11 minutes for Costa Rica to equalize. Finally, Kendall Waston got up above everyone else and headed in a Joe Campbell corner into the back of the net, bringing the match level at one a piece. Switzerland would level it again in the 88th minute. Denis Zakaria got a shot off in the box and roofed it past Keylor Navas.
This one will go down as one of the more wilder finishes at this years World Cup. In the 89th minute, a Costa Rican player would be brought down in the box, and it looked like a penalty, but they went to VAR, and after review, it was ruled an indirect free kick, taking away the chance for the Tico’s to level the match.
A minute into stoppage time, another Costa Rican player was trying to split defenders and was brought down in the box for another penalty. This time it was a clean penalty and Bryan Ruiz would calmly step up to the ball only to hit the crossbar, where it bounced of off the back of Swiss keeper Yan Sommer’s head and into the back of the net. As seems the fad this World Cup, it was an own goal. That’s how it would end, with Switzerland headed to the Round-of-16 to take on Sweden, while the Ticos call it a World Cup.
On the night he was only put under pressure on those two goals. The first one he had gone near post, over-committing and leaving the back post wide open. The second goal was pure power, and even if he had gotten a hand on it, it still would’ve gone in. So really not the greatest of nights for Navas.
Player Rating: 6.0/10
Not terrible, not stellar. Average.