England have finished the 2014 World Cup without a win and on the bottom of their group after playing out a scoreless draw with Costa Rica at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte this morning.
England’s chances of qualifying for the second round of the 2014 World Cup were ended when they started their campaign with back-to-back losses against Italy and Uruguay, but The Three Lions were still clear favourites to defeat Costa Rica and avoid their first winless World Cup since they were bundled out of the Group stages in Sweden in 1958.
Despite having already secured a place in the second round of the 2014 World Cup, Costa Rica still needed at least a point to finish on top of the group and it was the surprise packets of the tournament that were the better team in the early stages; with Joel Campbell almost opening the scoring in the 2nd minute.
England were able to take control of possession for most of the remainder of the second half and created a few chances, but were unable to take advantage of a number of opportunities from corners and attacking free kicks.
Costa Rica were slow out of the blocks in the early stages of the second half and England continue to dominant possession, but they could not find the back of the net and Daniel Sturridge missed a golden opportunity to put his side in front in the 64 minute following an impressive combination with Jack Wilshere.
England continued to produce uninspiring football towards the tail end of the match and they bowed out of the World Cup with another inconsistent performance, while the draw was enough to see Costa Rica finish in top of one of the tournaments Groups Of Death.
Costa Rican manager Jorge Luis Pinto has been thrilled with the performances of his side throughout the 2014 World Cup and he paid tribute to his players after the game for putting Costa Rican football on the map.
“We’ve given Costa Rica status in the football world,” Pinto said.
“No-one can say it was chance, luck or just for a few moments.
“It was a really complicated group of very experienced teams, but we came to fight and compete and we have done.
I hope we can keep on like that and we’ll give our all whoever we face next.
“This was called the ‘group of death’, but it wasn’t – not for us anyway.
I’m so happy for Costa Rica, I know the love they have for football.”
Costa Rica will take on Greece in their Round Of 16 clash at Arena Pernambuco on Monday June 30 at 6am (AEST).
The Costa Ricans are currently available at odds of $2.60 to defeat Greece, with Ladbrokes.com.au, while Greece are priced at $2.88 to progress to the quarter finals.