Another team from Latin America is going to the 2022 World Cup. Costa Rica beat New Zealand 1-0 with an early goal to clinch a World Cup spot in the final intercontinental playoff. The Central American team completes the 32 finalists who will play in this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which is set to take place from November 21st to December 18th.
The ticos join Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Mexico representing the region in the 2022 World Cup. Of those, Brazil and Argentina are overwhelming favorites to advance from the group stage, and perhaps, add to their trophy case.
The game started in the best way possible for Costa Rica, with Monterrey player Joel Campbell scoring in just the third minute of regulation. But after that the team had to withstand the pressure from New Zealand, who managed to score in the 39th minute, only to see the goal overruled after a foul in the buildup. Costa Rica held on, despite playing on the defense for most of the game and took advantage of both undisciplined play by New Zealand and an outstanding goalkeeper in Keylor Navas to secure their spot in the World Cup.
Costa Rica’s win means they will take their place in Group E alongside Spain, Germany, and Japan, arguably one of the toughest draws imaginable, with two World Cup champions standing in the way of advancing to the next stage. But for a Costa Rica team in their third successive World Cup, and one who reached the quarterfinals in 2014, this is not the end of their World Cup dream. It’s only the beginning.
Catch the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 from November 21st to December 18th.