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.