The Norman Transcript

National Sports

June 30, 2014

Costa Rica survives shootout

RECIFE, Brazil — Costa Rica beat Greece in a penalty shootout Sunday to reach the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time after defending with 10 men for nearly an hour.

Michael Umana scored the decisive penalty as Costa Rica won the shootout 5-3 after the game ended 1-1 following extra time.

Greece’s Theofanis Gekas saw his penalty saved by Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas for the only miss in the shootout.

Costa Rica will play the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.

Costa Rica had taken the lead early in the second half through captain Bryan Ruiz but then had defender Oscar Duarte sent off in the 66th minute with a second yellow card for a mistimed tackle on Jose Holebas.

The red card changed the game at Arena Pernambuco and Greece poured forward for most of the remainder of the match.

The Greeks equalized in injury time when defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos smashed in a rebound to finally make the team’s numerical advantage pay.

Netherlands 2, Mexico 1: FORTALEZA, Brazil — The Dutch were worried about the oppressive heat at Arena Castelao, and they left it with the stifling hot conditions to thank for a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals.

An inspired tactical change during the second of two official stoppages led to a late goal from Netherlands forward Wesley Sneijder and an injury-time penalty from Klaas Jan Huntelaar in a dramatic 2-1 victory over Mexico on Sunday.

“I moved to ‘Plan B’ at the cooling break,” said Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal, soon to be the manager at Manchester United. “That is a good way to take advantage of those breaks.”

Despite scoring 10 goals in three group matches, Van Gaal again started the match with a defensive 5-3-2 system. He made the switch to a more attacking 4-3-3 formation when referee Pedro Proenca stopped the match in the 76th minute to allow players to rehydrate.

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