Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Costa Rica makes history thanks to Navas
by Paul Kennedy, June 30th, 2014 2:16AM

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.



2 comments
  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.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 9:22 p.m.
    To say that Robben's dive was "a charm" is pretty crass.


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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Felix Magath    
"I merely suggested it could be worth trying the old wives' tale of applying quark cheese ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS Week 28] There's a new team atop the Power Rankings as the streaking LA Galaxy ...
NYCFC and Orlando City will draw for player slots    
[MLS EXPANSION] Representatives from New York City FC and Orlando City, the two 2015 MLS expansion ...
What They're Saying: Nasser Al Khater    
"The only question now is when, not if. Summer or winter, we will be ready." -- ...
D.C. United is on verge of clinching    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Preview] MLS's four U.S. entrants are all in action in the Concacaf Champions ...
Olsen is still MLS's youngest head coach    
[MAKING A LIST] Almost four years after being named D.C. United head coach, Ben Olsen is ...
D.C. United rewards Olsen with multi-year extension    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Head coach Ben Olsen, who survived D.C. United's horrific 2013 campaign, the worst in ...
Valeri volleys a golazo on the run     
[VIDEO PICK: MLS Goals of the Week] Portland's Diego Valeri looks set to garner his third ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Sunday] No. 6 Washington rebounded from allowing an early goal to beat USF, 2-1, in ...
Howard gaffes cost Everton dearly at home    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Everton's defensive troubles in the English Premier League continued as it dropped a 3-2 ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives