WC 2014: Draw with Costa Rica gives England consolation point

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Belo Horizonte (Brazil), June 25: Costa Rica, who had already qualified for the last-16 held an already eliminated England to a 0-0 draw to top FIFA World Cup Group D at the Estadio Mineirao here Tuesday.

Schedule; Results; Points Table; Photos; News

[Read: Uruguay beat Italy 1-0, enter last 16]

Costa Rica will go into the round of 16 after topping the Group of Death, beating former champions Italy and Uruguay on the way.

Costa Rica collected seven points while Uruguay finished second with six points after their narrow 1-0 win over Italy, reports Xinhua.

FINAL GROUP D STANDINGS

Costa Rica Played 3, Won 2, Drawn 1, Goals for 4, Goals against 1, Points 7

Uruguay Played 3, Won 2, Lost 1, GF 4, GA 4, Points 6

Italy Played 3, Won 1, Lost 2, GF 2, GA 2, Points 3

England Played 3, Lost 2, Drawn 1, GF 2, GA 4 Points 1

Former champions England, one of the favourites, collected a consolation point to sit at the bottom.

In their last match of the group stage, Roy Hodgson made a host of changes to England's starting line-up, but Costa Rica fielded a strong starting 11, looking to win the group.

Coach Luis Pinto only left key midfielder Christian Bolanos on the bench.

Two minutes into the game, Costa Rican forward Joel Campbell found space on the edge of the English box and shot at goal, but the ball deflected off defender Gary Cahill and went behind.

In the 12th minute, England's midfielder Jack Wilshere burst through the Costa Rica midfield and played the ball to forward Daniel Sturridge who received the ball on the half-turn.

Sturridge's powerful shot went wide of the scrambling keeper Keylor Navas' left-hand post.

Both teams wasted several chances and finished the match goalless

On 23 minutes, Costa Rican midfielder Celso Borges whipped a devilish free-kick towards goal, which arced to the opposite side of the English wall. Ben Foster stretched and tipped the ball on to the bar and it went behind for a corner.

Around the 35th minute, after a succession of corner kicks, England midfielder Ross Barkley whipped a deep ball in from the left.

Phil Jones nodded the ball back across goal and Sturridge was there, but the Liverpool man headed just over the bar.

England had another chance with defender Luke Shaw collecting the ball from a cleared set-piece and hammered towards goal from the edge of the Costa Rica penalty area.

It looped up after a Costa Rica defender got in the way and fell to Sturridge, but the Liverpool forward took a poor first touch and Navas was out swiftly to clear away the danger.

Trying for a win, Hodgson sent in Raheem Sterling and Wayne Rooney in the second half, while Bolanos also came off the bench to strengthen Costa Rica's attacking fire.

Both sides played offensive and quick-pace football.

Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz often showcased his brilliant personal skill, dancing past English players, but the two teams squandered many chances to end the match scoreless.

IANS

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