So they caught Uruguay off guard. Two quick counter attack goals left the 2010 semi-finalists stunned. Uruguay was not prepared to play without their biting talisman, Luis Suarez. Surely, the Costa Ricans were in ecstasy that wouldn’t last long. Friday’s match with the Italians would return them back to earth. Except it didn’t. The Ticos didn’t even play like an underdog. They truly appeared to be the class of the group. Remember, the Group of Death this tournament is Group G… only because Costa Rica wasn’t good enough to be in a Group of Death. England, Italy, and Uruguay are a terrifying trio that understandably left Costa Rica as an afterthought. Through two games, Costa Rica is through to the knockout stages.
One of the beautiful aspects of the World Cup is seeing a player who has lost all confidence with their club team get a new life playing for their country. Bryan Ruiz was a spark for Fulham initially, but fell out of good graces with a new manager and was eventually loaned out. Essentially, Bryan Ruiz is a player not good enough to play on a relegated Premier League team. However, with Costa Rica, he is a key player in their menacing counter attack. Ruiz headed in a beautiful cross to beat a team full of stars on Italy. However, only talking about Ruiz takes away from everything that Costa Rica is about. Ruiz symbolizes many players on Costa Rica. They are a squad full of promising, but not extremely successful club players. However, give them 90 minutes to play organized football and they can beat 11 club superstars from Italy, Uruguay, and likely England next week.