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Costa Rica draw England 0-0 to top Group of Death

English.news.cn   2014-06-25 02:10:02

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Costa Rica, which had already survived the World Cup Group D, tied 0-0 here on Tuesday with England, which had already been out.

Costa Rica held their heads high into the round of 16, topping the Group of Death, also containing former champions Italy and Uruguay, with seven points. Costa Rica had stunned Uruguay 3-1 and Italy 1-0.

Uruguay finished second with six points after edging England 2-1 and Italy 1-0.

Former champions England, one of the favorites, just collected a consolation point today to sit at the bottom.

In their last match of the group stage, Roy Hodgson made a host of changes for England's starting line-up, but Costa Rica fielded a strong starting 11, looking to win the group. Coach Luis Pinto only left key midfielder Christian Bolanos to the bench.

Only two minutes into the game, Costa Rican forward Joel Campbell found space on the edge of the English box and stroke towards goal, but the ball deflected off defender Gary Cahill and went behind.

In the 12th minute, England's midfielder Jack Wilshere burst through the Costa Rica midfield and played the ball into forward Daniel Sturridge who received the ball on the half-turn. Sturridge's powerful shot went wide of the scrambling keeper Keylor Navas' left-hand post.

On 23 minutes, Costa Rican midfielder Celso Borges whipped a devilish free-kick towards goal, which arced to the opposite side of the English wall. Ben Foster stretched and tipped the ball on to the bar and it went behind for a corner.

Around the 35th minute, after a succession of corner kicks, England midfielder Ross Barkley whipped a deep ball in from the left. Phil Jones nodded the ball back across goal and Sturridge was there, but the Liverpool man headed just over the bar.

In the 49th minute, England defender Luke Shaw collected the ball from a cleared set-piece and hammered towards goal from the edge of the Costa Rica penalty area. It looped up after a Costa Rica defender got in the way and fell to Sturridge, but the Liverpool forward took a poor first touch and Navas was out swiftly to clear away the danger.

Trying for a win, Hodgson sent in Raheem Sterling and Wayne Rooney in the second half, while Bolanos also came off the bench to strengthen Costa Rica's attacking fire.

Both sides played offensive and quick-pace football. Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz often showcased his brilliant personal skill, dancing past English players, but the two teams squandered many chances.

Editor: yan
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