Costa Rica win leaves Uruguay in shock

Absence of Luis Suárez keenly felt by South Americans

Costa Rica 3 Uruguay 1

There are actually more Costa Ricans than Uruguayans in the world but in football terms, one is a giant and the other a minnow.

Uruguay are a two-time World Cup winners and reigning South American champion while Costa Rica's most glorious footballing memories include a 1-0 win over Scotland at Italia 90.

So it is perhaps no surprise that the reaction in the Central American nation to a first victory over a former world champion in 54 years was delirious. Brazilian television scrambled to get what seemed to be shaky live images recorded on a smart phone of crowds celebrating wildly in San José at the final whistle of their come from behind 3-1 dismantling of their more illustrious opponents.

Ecstasy mixed with revenge was in the air. Fans had never seen their side beat Uruguay in eight previous matches, six of which ended in defeat, including elimination in a 2009 play-off for a spot in South Africa.

"The same sky blue shirt that five years ago took advantage of the generosity of the Tricolor was yesterday left discoloured because they faced a patriotic team that played with determination, discipline, talent and above all pride, " chest-thumped San José daily Al Día.

In Uruguay there was shock and anger as a golden generation of players put in dreadful display that an absent Luis Suárez and ageing limbs alone cannot explain.

Even the country’s much respected coach Óscar ‘El Maestro’ Tabárez came in for criticism for the poor set-up of his side and his inability to change things from the bench.

With two former world champions to come commentators were left searching for suitably macabre metaphors to sum up the implications of defeat against the team that was supposed to be the group’s whipping boy.

Uruguay started without their all-time record goalscorer s Suarez but took a 1-0 lead after Edinson Cavani scored from the penalty spot in the opening half.

However, underdogs Costa Rica struck back with a vengeance with goals from Joel Campbell, Oscar Duarte and Marco Urena after the restart.

URUGUAY: Muslera, Maxi Pereira, Lugano, Godin, Caceres, Stuani, Arevalo Rios, Gargano (Gonzalez 60), Rodriguez (Hernandez 76), Forlan (Lodeiro 60), Cavani. Subs not used: Munoz, Fucile, Pereira, Suarez, Gimenez, Perez, Ramirez, Coates, Silva. Sent Off: Maxi Pereira (90). Booked: Lugano, Gargano, Caceres.
COSTA RICA: Navas, Gamboa, Duarte, Gonzalez, Umana, Diaz, Borges, Tejeda (Cubero 74), Bolanos (Barrantes 88), Ruiz (Urena 82), Campbell. Subs not used: Pemberton, Acosta, Myrie, Francis, Granados, Brenes, Miller, Calvo, Cambronero.
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany).