Jorge Luis Pinto: 'Costa Rica cheated group of death'

Pinto: 'Costa Rica cheated group of death'
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Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto praises his squad for defying the odds and qualifying from the "group of death".

Jorge Luis Pinto has praised his Costa Rica team for surviving the "group of death" ahead of taking their place in the last 16 of the World Cup.

The perceived outsiders defied the odds to beat Uruguay and Italy en route to winning Group D and sealing a place in the second round of the tournament.

"It was a really complicated group of very experienced teams. But we came to fight and compete, and we have done," he told reporters following the 0-0 draw with England in their final group game.

"This was called the group of death, but it wasn't - not for us anyway. I'm so happy for Costa Rica. I know the love they have for football.

"May they keep enjoying it! I've loved the three games. We've played a sure, dynamic football. We're unbeaten, it's historic."

As pool winners, Costa Rica will face the runners-up from Group C in the next round.

 Luke Shaw of England is challenged by Bryan Ruiz of Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Costa Rica and England at Estadio Mineirao on June 24, 2014
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