The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is drawing ever nearer – with just 24 days to go! Between now and the start of the World Cup, we will take a closer look at a different statistic from the history of the tournament each day.
24 – Match 24 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ genuinely caused a sensation. In a group containing former world champions Italy, England and Uruguay, it was apparent outsiders Costa Rica, who ultimately won the group with time to spare.
Los Ticos booked their place in the Round of 16 after just two games with a surprise 1-0 win over Gli Azzurri. Exactly 24 years after their last and so far only passage to the last 16, captain Bryan Ruiz scored the decisive goal shortly before half-time – thanks in part to goalline technology. The skipper’s header struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced behind the line in the 44th minute.
“It was a great win,” the matchwinner and man of the match said after the final whistle. “I think it’s only now, a little after the game, that it’s sinking in how much this achievement will mean to the people of Costa Rica.”
While Costa Rica ultimately progressed to the quarter-finals, where they lost to the Netherlands on penalties, Italy and England were forced to head home after the group stage.