Group D: Costa Rica

A strong defence is about to come up against serious attacking talent

World Cup 2014 Team, World Cup

The team: Costa Rica made qualification look fairly easy in the end, capitalising on Mexico’s meltdown to seal second place behind the USA in the final group stage. Their successful campaign was built on a miserly defence that conceded only seven goals in ten games, as well as a 100 percent home record of five wins. They certainly won’t be the group whipping boys, but it’s still hard to see them progressing against such strong opposition.

The coach: Jorge Luis Pinto

A bit of a legend in Latin American football, Colombian coach Jorge Luis Pinto isn’t short on experience. He’s clinched titles in his homeland as well as Costa Rica, Peru and Venezuela. This is his second spell in charge of Costa Rica, sandwiching a rather lacklustre reign as Colombia boss.

Key player: Joel Campbell

His name may ring a bell for Arsenal supporters, although very few Gunners are likely to have seen him play. However, Manchester United fans know all too well what he can do. On loan from Arsenal at Olympiakos, the speedy striker scored a stunning goal as the Greek club nearly knocked the English team out of the Champions League last season. He’s definitely one to watch in Brazil.

Facts

World ranking: 34
World Cup appearances: 3
Previous best: Round of 16 in 1990
Qualification: Second in group
Form (qualifiers): DLWWDWWDLW
Fixtures: June 14 vs. Uruguay; June 20 vs. Italy; June 24 vs. England

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