Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Costa Rica makes history thanks to Navas
by Paul Kennedy, June 30th, 2014 2:16AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  costa rica, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

[WORLD CUP: Three Stars] At least one Concacaf team will be the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup. Reminiscent of Brad Friedel for the USA in 2002, the last time a Concacaf team made the final eight, Keylor Navas again came up huge for Costa Rica in its shootout win over Greece. In Sunday's other match, Mexico paid the price for sitting on its lead as the firepower of the Dutch was too much in a wild finish.

1. KEYLOR NAVAS. One of the common denominators of the two Costa Rican teams that reached the second round of the World Cup is their goalkeeping. Luis Gabelo Conejo was a rock on Bora Milutinovic's team in 1990 that beat Scotland and Sweden, and Navas has done one better, leading the Ticos to the quarterfinals of the World Cup with their shootout win over Greece.

Navas was the hero, making several spectacular saves to keep the 10-man Ticos even with Greece, 1-1, after regulation and overtime, and he stopped Theofanis Gekas' penalty kick to win the shootout. Conejo is a big admirer of Navas, who played at Spanish club Albacete, where Conejo had gone after starring for the Ticos in 1990.

"He has special abilities," says Conejo. "He's explosive, quick and good one-on-one. There are not many goalies in Europe who have those traits." Conejo's European career lasted all of four years. Navas just finished his fourth season in Spain and it only just beginning.


2. KLAAS JAN HUNTELAAR. Huntelaar came into the 2014 World Cup with 67 caps for the Netherlands but  he had not played until he was brought on for Robin van Persie with 15 minutes to play and the Dutch trailing Mexico, 1-0.

All he did was nod back a corner kick that Wesley Sneijder blasted inside the near post for the equalizer in the 88th minute and step up and take the penalty kick that won the game after Arjen Robben was taken down for a penalty kick.

Robben asked Huntelaar if he wanted to take the penalty kick, and the Schalke 04 striker says he almost changed his mind after taking the ball from Robben. After all, he had missed four of his previous five penalty kicks. Huntelaar says he thought of smashing his PK straight down the middle but chickened out. It was a good thing for the Dutch. He shot to his left gave Mexico goalie Guillermo Ochoa no chance.


3. ARJEN ROBBEN. Was it a penalty kick? Or not? The award of a penalty for Rafael Marquez's foul on Robben is the most controversial decision of the World Cup. One that Mexican fans will talk about for years to come. But say what you want about Robben, who has a reputation for being a serial diver, he kept on coming at the Mexican defense.

On another charge into the area late in the second half, the Dutchman blew past Marquez in the air and forced a save from Ochoa. On two other occasions, Robben almost drew a penalty kick -- he admits to diving on one of them -- but the third time was a charm.



1 comment
  1. Tim Gibson
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 1:24 p.m.
    If only Rafa could've found a way to propely channel his emotions throughout his career, he coulda been a legend? Instead & sadly for a nation/team that had a great tournament, his World Cup career ends in disgrace.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Preseason: Saturday Results    
Preseason came to an end this weekend. Most teams on Saturday fielded what will be close ...
Sebastian Saucedo strikes twice as U.S. U-20s advance     
The USA moved into the second stage of the men's Concacaf U-20 Championship with a 4-1 ...
Roster: U.S. U-23 women head to Spain    
The U.S. U-23 women's national team will play Japan (March 2), England (March 4) and Norway ...
USWNT: No Klingenberg, no A-Rod for SheBelieves Cup    
U.S. women's national team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23-player roster for the 2017 ...
Report: UCL headed to Turner and Univision in 2018    
Turner Sports and Univision have snatched the U.S. media rights to the UEFA Champions League away ...
U.S. Soccer: U-17 and U-20 women's coaches to be replaced    
B.J. Snow is no longer U.S. U-17 girls national team coach and Michelle French is out ...
U.S. Abroad: Johnson's M'Gladbach pulls miracle comeback    
Fabian Johnson came off the bench for Borussia Moenchengladbach as it came back from 2-0 down ...
Sneak Peek: Potent Impact seeks resiliency and depth    
Last year Montreal stunned Red Bulls, 3-1, on aggregate and took a commanding lead against Toronto ...
What They're Saying: Perry Dealy    
"It's worth preserving because we don't have a lot of icons. It would save a lot ...
Sneak Peek: Vieira is convinced NYCFC will be improved    
In his first season, Patrick Vieira proved that a foreign coach unfamiliar with MLS could find ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives