Match Analysis: Uruguay 1-3 Costa Rica

Sports Mole analyses the World Cup Group D match between Uruguay and Costa Rica at the Estadio Castelao.

Costa Rica have claimed a 3-1 victory over Uruguay in their opening Group D match at the World Cup.

Edinson Cavani gave Uruguay the lead with a first-half penalty, before Joel Campbell levelled the scores soon after the break.

Minutes later, Oscar Duarte headed Costa Rica in front and Marco Urena grabbed a third goal late on.

Maxi Pereira was sent off for a foul on Campbell in stoppage time as Costa Rica earned a memorable win.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the events that unfolded at the Estadio Castelao.

Match Statistics:

Shots 9
On Target 3
Possession 56%
Corners 5
Fouls 20

Costa Rica:
Shots 13
On Target 4
Possession 44%
Corners 6
Fouls 18

Was the result fair?

Costa Rica fully deserved their victory following a positive second-half performance. They initially struggled to get into the match and it seemed that Uruguay would go on to claim the three points following Cavani's goal. After the break, they took the game to their opponents and Campbell's strike gave them a huge boost in confidence. A second quickly followed, with Uruguay's defence unable to cope with their attacking threat.

Uruguay's performance

Uruguay dominated the early stages of the game, but they could not capitalise on the lead that they took into the break. Diego Forlan and Cavani barely had a chance and they managed to test Keylor Navas in the Costa Rican goal just three times. Their defence collapsed in the second half, with Diego Godin and Diego Lugano particularly at fault for the goals they conceded. Pereira's late red card summed up a frustrating night for a team that many tipped to go through as the group winners.

Costa Rica's performance

Not even the most optimistic of Costa Rica's supporters could have seen their team beating the much-fancied Uruguayans. They saw very little of the ball in the first half, with Campbell left stranded in the attack. It was a completely different story after the break, as they pressed their opponents deep inside their own half and constantly found space in the midfield. Giancarlo Gonzalez, Michael Umana and Duarte ensured that it was a difficult night for Uruguay's attacking players as they produced fine performances at the back.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Joel Campbell: The Arsenal man was the catalyst as his team pulled off an unlikely victory. He came close with a stunning strike in the first half, before his well-taken goal after the break brought Costa Rica back into the game. He gave Godin and Lugano a torrid time at the back, as they failed to deal with his pace and strength. To top it all off, his inch-perfect pass to set up Urena rounded off a memorable night in style.

Biggest gaffe

Uruguay did not defend particularly well for any of the goals that they conceded, but Pereira's shocking late challenge on Campell was worthy of a red card. He let his country down and will now be banned for his side's clash against England.

Referee's performance

Referee Felix Brych got all of the big decisions correct this evening. He rightly awarded Uruguay a penalty in the first half for Junior Diaz's foul on Lugano and had no choice but to send Pereira off for his disgraceful foul. In a World Cup that has seen its fair share of controversial moments, this is one match where the football did the talking.

What next?

Uruguay: Uruguay face England in Sao Paulo next Thursday.

Costa Rica: The Costa Ricans take on Italy next Friday in Recife.

Joel Campbell of Costa Rica celebrates scoring his team's first goal with the ball under his jersey as teammates Oscar Duarte and Michael Umana run on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Uruguay and Costa Rica at Castelao on June 1
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