Saturday, June 14, 2014

Uruguay beaten 3-1 by Costa Rica in 2014 Fifa World Cup

It looked like a Goliath versus David affair from the onset, yet there was a side of Costa Rica to see. They were eager to push forward without fear and make a statement in a motivated way. They had made 5 entries into the attacking third by the 10th minute. The nervousness in defence was obvious as they were to concede consecutive free-kicks including the one that led to the penalty converted by Cavani.

Uruguay played with a lot of width and tried to break the 5-men defence with crisp passing. Wasteful finishing by both Cavani and Diego Forlan counted for nothing until the rugby tackle on Lugano. Cavani slotted the ball in the right bottom corner of the net despite the goalkeeper guessing right. Thereafter, the former champions’ attempts were restricted to outside the penalty area. Despite that drawback, Costa Rica showed character by their positive response pushing for an equaliser. Their 1-5-3-2 coped well with the conventional 1-4-4-2 of Costa Rica.

The second half started with an injected pace in the Costa Rican attack as they ran at the Uruguayan defence. An exchange of passes on the right wing and the resultant cross eluded the Uruguay defence and found an unmarked Joe Campbell who controlled the ball and rifled a canon past Muslera to equalise. It was one such run in the middle of the defence that led to a free-kick that was neatly taken to the far post and headed home by Duarte for a 2-1 lead within minutes. It took courage as the low ball attracted a boot of a defender in a failed bid to clear.

Thenceforth, Uruguay threw kitchen sinks and all at the minnows who did not crack under pressure. They managed the lead well, composed themselves and frustrated their more illustrious opponents in midfield as they curled into a 1-5-4-1 formation. The frantic defending got into the nerves of Uruguay as they lost their cool and composure.

A ball lost on the right side of midfield was passed down the line and then played through to Urena who raced into the box attraction the attention of Muslera who tried to narrow the angle. The attacker raised his head, saw the onrushing keeper and tucked in a low ball past him to hammer the final nail in the coffin of Uruguay. Adding salt to injury, Uruguay lost a man at the death as a momentary rush of blood in the head left the referee with no option but to send him off.

It turned out as it looked, a David versus Goliath, and the result was no different from the actual ancient events, David killing Goliath.