Costa Rica and England played out a goalless draw at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in a FIFA World Cup™ Group C encounter that had had little incentive for both sides. The English were already eliminated and a draw would guarantee top spot in the pool for Los Ticos. The first ten minutes started at a slow pace.
Both teams felt each other out and set the tempo. After 18 minutes Celso Borges conceded a free-kick and almost conceded as the ball was saved and bounced off the post. The Central Americans and Three Lions seemed cautious in the midfield as Jorge Luis Pinto hoped his side could stay on top of the table. Ross Barkley had a chance to put England in the lead after he battled off two defenders and managed to take a shot which came from a difficult angle and went wide as the sides went to half-time deadlocked.
The second half saw Luke Shaw take an attempt at goal from outside the box which was blocked. The match was then delayed because of an injury to Keylor Navas. The 52nd minute saw Barkley being shown a yellow card for a bad foul.
A substitution was made by Costa Rica as Christian Bolanos came on for Randall Brenes. Giancarlo Gonzalez was shown a yellow card for a bad foul before Frank Lampard’s right footed attempt was blocked as he took it from outside the box. Raheem Sterling came on for Adam Lallana as a substitute as Roy Hodgson played his last cards in a desperate attempt to find a winning goal.
Bolanos’ right footed attempt was saved in the centre of the goal. A counter attack by England saw Daniel Sturridge miss an attempt to the left before Steven Gerrard came on for Jack Wilshere in the 75th minute. Minutes after Wayne Rooney came on for James Milner he took a shot which he curled over the defence but was beaten away by the keeper.
The Three Lions tried to make an impact in the last minute of the game as they kept the ball in their attacking half. Costa Rica finish top of group D and see themselves advancing to the next stage of the competition where they will meet the runners-up from Group C, possibly Africa’s Ivory Coast.