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 | FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja: 'This is truly home for me'    
In his long tenure at FC Dallas, head coach Oscar Pareja has won the Supporters' Shield ...
USL: A new Division III league in works for 2019    
The United Soccer Leagues, which currently operates the Division II USL and amateur PDL, has annoubced ...
What They're Saying: Derek Henkle    
"As a general assignment video reporter, I was seeking facts at a press conference.  I get ...
Soccer America correction    
Soccer America published a story online and in Thursday's Soccer America Daily on Bastain Schweinsteiger's opening ...
Report: Jonathan Klinsmann to go on Everton trial    
U.S. U-20 goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann will go on trial with English Premier League club Everton after ...
What They're Saying: Ambroise Oyongo    
"You give your heart and soul for your country, but others don't recognize your value. Still, ...
What They're Saying: Jonathan Kraft    
"We've had a lot of great options. [But] St. Louis: exceptional soccer market, exceptional owner group. ...
MLS Expansion: San Diego 'SoccerCity' petition 'crushing it'    
The San Diego group seeking to build a stadium for a proposed MLS expansion team has ...
USMNT: Christian Pulisic passes the Arena test    
For all his candor and sarcasm, Bruce Arena is not one for hyperbole. Before the USA ...
MLS: Petke vows to let loose 'caged animal' that is RSL    
A poor finish last season and bad start to 2017 prompted the dismissal of Jeff Cassar ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives