Sunday 15 July 2018

England ENG 2

Sweden SWE 0

REPORT

Russia RUS 2 (3)

Croatia CRO 2 (4)

REPORT

France FRA 1

Belgium BEL 0

REPORT

England ENG 1

Croatia CRO 2

AET

Belgium BEL 2

England ENG 0

REPORT

France FRA 4

Croatia CRO 2

REPORT

Ruiz gives Costa Rica some cheer

Switzerland 2 Costa Rica 2

Costa Rica's Kendall Waston. Photo: AP
Costa Rica's Kendall Waston. Photo: AP

Jonathan Liew

Finally, Costa Rica had something to cheer. Bryan Ruiz's last-gasp penalty off the back of Yann Sommer earned Costa Rica a deserved point in Nizhny Novgorod, putting the consolation floss on a miserable group stage.

Josip Drmic's late goal for Switzerland had appeared to give them their second win of the group stage, and even if qualification was already pretty much secure, there will have been a certain frustration at the ease with which the Costa Ricans were able to cut them open.

Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz charges between Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez and Michael Lang. Photo: Getty Images
Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz charges between Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez and Michael Lang. Photo: Getty Images

Even if the sting was drawn from the game by Brazil's romp in Moscow, there was still a good deal of enterprise and vigour in this entertaining game. For Switzerland, a case of job done.

Just Sweden now separate them from a place in the quarter-finals, and even if Stephan Lichtsteiner and Fabian Schär will miss the game after picking up second yellow cards, they will still fancy their chances.

The much-improved Costa Rica, meanwhile, made you wonder how much more they might have achieved if they had shown this sort of attacking intent earlier in the tournament.

Having gone a goal down, they equalised through Kendall Waston and indeed had chances to take the lead.

Switzerland's midfielder Denis Zakaria and Costa Rica's Joel Campbell battle for the ball. Photo: Getty Images
Switzerland's midfielder Denis Zakaria and Costa Rica's Joel Campbell battle for the ball. Photo: Getty Images

At least they have avoided the ignominy of being the only side to leave Russia without a goal to their name, but after the thrill ride of 2014, this campaign will nevertheless go down as a disappointment.

© Independent News Service

Switzerland's manager Vladimir Petkovic. Photo: Getty Images
Switzerland's manager Vladimir Petkovic. Photo: Getty Images
Switzerland's Blerim Dzemaili scores his side's first goal past Costa Rica's Keylor Navas. Photo: Getty Images
Switzerland's Blerim Dzemaili scores his side's first goal past Costa Rica's Keylor Navas. Photo: Getty Images

Irish Independent

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