RECIFE, Brazil (AP) Had Costa Rica been a less resilient team, it might still be stewing over referee Enrique Osses’ refusal to award a penalty when explosive striker Joel Campbell was taken down in the area.Instead, the Ticos mounted another of their numerous raids on Italy’s defense, scoring a minute later when Bryan Ruiz headed home Junior Diaz’s long, curling cross from the left wing.Playing confidently and attacking relentlessly, Costa Rica seized control of Group D and clinched a place in the knockout round of the World Cup with a 1-0 victory over four-time champion Italy.”The first objective we have already achieved, and now let’s see,” Ruiz said of the Costa Rica’s assured place in the Round of 16. ”Of course, we want to go forward, as far as possible.”The triumph might have been more lopsided if not for Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who made several diving saves.Entering the tournament as the second-place team in CONCACAF qualifying, behind the United States, the Costa Ricans were apparently the weakest team in a group featuring former World Cup champions Italy, Uruguay and England.Not anymore. They’ve reached the second round for the first time since 1990 and can top the group with a… Read full this story
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