10-man Costa Rica reach first World Cup quarterfinal with shootout win over Greece

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle
Costa Rica players celebrate after beating Greece in the World Cup round of 16. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

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Costa Rica players celebrate after beating Greece in the World Cup round of 16. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

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Costa Rica seemed poised for heartbreak when Greece broke through with an injury-time equalizer nearly half an hour after Los Ticos were reduced to 10 men, but they came out with a historic win.

At 1-1 after 90 minutes, this round of 16 match was forced to extra time and that required even more of the outnumbered Costa Rica players after defender Oscar Duarte was sent off in the 66th minute. But Greece kept inventing new ways to not score and the seemingly endless match made its way to a decisive shootout — Greece's first ever shootout — to decided which side would appear in their first World Cup quarterfinal. Suddenly, no one could stop scoring and both sides made their first three shots, displaying impressive fortitude all around.

Then, after an exhausted Joe Campbell somehow willed his shot in to give Costa Rica a 4-3 advantage, Greek scoring legend Theofanis Gekas stepped up to the spot. And his shot saved by a diving Keylor Navas, who made seven saves during the first 120 minutes of play and came up huge time and time again throughout the match for Costa Rica.

All the pressure was then dumped on Michael Umana, who drilled his penalty to give Costa Rica a 5-3 shootout win and put them in the quarterfinals against the Netherlands.

It was a draining match for fans and participants alike and a horrible way for Greece to go out, but they had their chances and Costa Rica and goalkeeper Keylor Navas, in particular, deserve all the praise for their indomitable will.

Even when this World Cup is a bit boring, it still finds a way to be incredible.

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