World Cup's Cinderella Story
Costa Rica are perhaps the most surprise side of the 2014 World Cup.
A minnow drawn in to a pool of sharks, they are the only team in their group who has not won the World Cup. Experts picked Costa Rica to earn 0 total points at the World Cup. Facing the stiff competition of England, Uruguay, and Italy.
They started the tournament with the ultimate surprise, a win against 2010 World Cup semifinalists Uruguay. They went down early through an Edinson Cavani penalty, then the South Americans felt the ill affects of playing without their talisman Luis Suarez.
The Costa Ricans shocked the world and put three past Fernando Muslera in the second half, to earn a victory in their opening fixture. Following the game, they were thought to be a one hit wonder, surely Italy, the mighty and powerful Italy will set everything right in the footballing world and would smash the lowly CONCACAF side. But it wasn't to be, Costa Rica held on for a shock 1-0 victory over Italy, and moved to 6 points and automatic qualification for the knockout rounds.
Their final group game against England was merely to secure first place in the group, which they did, with a 0-0 draw against the Three Lions.
The question remains, how far can this minnow go, how long can the Cinderella story last for Costa Rica?
The question will be answered when they face Greece in the round of 16. Greece is a winnable game for Costa Rica, which can put them in to the quarterfinals.
What has made them so effective is their counter attack play. They are patient defending, and catch teams on the break. They caught Italy numerous times, punishing them just once, but were unlucky other times, particularly when they were not awarded what seemed to be a clear penalty.
None of that matters anymore, what mattes is that Costa Rica can continue to make noise in Brazil in 2014. They are playing in favorable conditions for them, the Brazilian climate is similar to the native Costa Rican climate, which gives them an edge, particularly against the European sides, whom they have faced and will face.
Costa Rica can be this years Cinderella story. This little known team may shock the world beyond what they have already done and may go far in Brazil.
They have Greece upcoming, and anything can happen in that game. Even if their run ends there, they have so much to be proud of, especially that they successfully conquered giants, and got out of the group of champions.