By TATE STEINLAGE
Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas almost singlehandedly made sure a second CONCACAF team would not fall Sunday in the Round of 16.
A 120 minute affair in Recife ended dramatically in penalty kicks as the Group D winners outlasted the efforts of Greece, 1 (5)-1 (3).
The Ticos were forced to play a man down for more than 50 minutes after defender Oscar Duarte picked up his second yellow card. Greece’s often-criticized defensive approach quickly evolved into a full-frontal attack following the decision, with the European side firing 23 shots at its opposition.
The man in between the sticks for Costa Rica — who helped hold Greece to just one goal — was one Navas. The 27-year-old goalkeeper finished the evening with seven saves and a crucial stop in penalty kicks to help his team secure a place in the quarterfinals, while also earning him SBI Man of the Match.
Navas beat out teammate Bryan Ruiz and Greece’s Sokratis for the honors.
What did you make of Navas’ performance in Costa Rica’s huge victory? Was there anyone else worth of Man of the Match honors.
Share your thoughts below.
According to me he deserves this award after putting all the effort to make their team into final eight. This was the amazing game for the goal kipper Keylor Navas, showed hundred percent commitments throughout the match and put Greece into deep trouble.
Yep, Navas. Campbell a distant second. He kept the back line busy and worried throughout. Ruiz a close third. But Navas, yeah, Navas MOTM.
Incredibile victory for Costa Rica, and historic. Pulling this out while one man down? Just made it back from the States in time to see the match and the wild celebrations here in Costa Rica… (On the drive in I noticed every business was closed; real passion here.)
Didn’t he come a *bit* off his line on the pk save? The announcers kept talking about that before the pks, and then he goes and does it and nothing is mentioned. Just odd to me.
He did take a (1) step, but all keepers do that or more. At the end it’s the ref’s criteria. But this absolutely does not minimize or take anything away from what Navas did in the p kicks or throughout the game. Best keeper so far in this WC, outplaying Ochoa just by a fraction.
Amazing game for a great keeper! Vamos Ticos!
See you in SF’s!