Bryan Ruiz has scored one of the most important goals of his career to help Costa Rica pull off one of the biggest upsets of the 2014 World Cup.
The 28-year-old Costa Rican footballer and national team captain’s header, the first goal World Cup of his career, in the 44th-minute cemented the team’s victory over Italy 1-0 in the Recife, Brazil.
Costa Rica showed their 3-1 win over Uruguay was no fluke as they took the game to Italy in impressive style. Los Ticos now lead Group C on six points
Ruiz’s header, the biggest goal for his team in the last 24 years, has resulted in Costa Rica’s return to the Round of 16 for the second time in its history — the first was in 1990.
“Maybe there are a lot of people who didn’t have faith in us because we were in the ‘Group of Death’,” said Ruiz in a post-game interview. “But the dead are the other ones and we’re going to the next round.”
The result also guarantees England‘s first-round exit from the tournament. It’s the first time since 1958 that England has been eliminated in the group stage of the FIFA World Cup.
Italy and Uruguay, who meet on Tuesday, each have three points but Italy’s superior goal difference means they need only a draw to go through.