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FIFA World Cup 2014 Match Preview: Greece v/s Costa Rica

Monday, 30 June 2014 - 12:43am IST Updated: Monday, 30 June 2014 - 12:44am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

  • AFP

No one might have expected Costa Rica to progress to the Round-of-16 from the 'Group of Death' with the likes of Uruguay, Italy and England. Even better, no one expected they would have qualified as group winners. Costa Rica progressed to the Round-of-16, after winning against Uruguay and Italy. They face Greece in the knock-out phase.

Costa Rica shocked the world when they defeated Uruguay 3-1 in the opening match of the Group D. Later on, they went on to win against Italy. In their last group match against England, they were held to a goal-less draw. However, they progressed as group winners.

Greece finished in the second spot of the Group C. Greece did not perform well in the group stages as they lost the opening match to Colombia, drew against Japan and won against Ivory Coast.

Looking at the preformances of both the teams in their respective groups, it seems like a one sided affair as Costa Rica seem to be too strong for the Greek.

Here are some of the statistics related to this match (optasports.com): 

•    This will be the first ever meeting between Costa Rica and Greece.

•    Costa Rica have reached the knockout stages of the World Cup for only the second time in their history; the first was in 1990 when they eventually lost 4-1 against Czechoslovakia in the last 16.

•    The last team from CONCACAF to go further than the last 16 at the World Cup are the USA in 2002.

•    This is the first time that Greece have reached the knockout stages of the World Cup.

•    Greece’s seven wins at major tournaments have never been by more than one clear goal (four 1-0 and three 2-1 wins).

•    Greece have only won two of their nine World Cup games, both against African sides (v Nigeria in 2010 & Ivory Coast in 2014).

•    Greece have scored in only two of their nine games at the World Cup (the two 2-1 wins v Nigeria & Ivory Coast).

•    Greece have only kept one clean sheet in nine World Cup games, against Japan in 2014 (0-0).

•    Costa Rica are yet to concede a goal from open play at this World Cup, the only one they have let in being Edinson Cavani’s penalty.

•    None of Costa Rica’s four goals at this World Cup have been scored before the 44th minute.

•    Meanwhile, each of Greece’s four goals in World Cup history have been scored from the 42nd minute onwards.

•    Costa Rica have surrendered possession in each of their three games so far at this World Cup, their highest ratio being 44.4% against Uruguay.

•    Georgios Samaras’ goal against Ivory Coast in Greece’s last game ended his personal goalscoring drought of 1478 minutes with the national team.

•    Samaras’ penalty against Ivory Coast is his only shot on target so far at this World Cup (270 minutes played).

•    Joel Campbell was involved in two of Costa Rica’s four goals at this World Cup (1 goal, 1 assist).

•    Keylor Navas has saved seven of the eight shots on target he’s faced in this World Cup.

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