Costa Rica Defeats New Zealand To Grab Last World Cup Slot

Sport Football Costa Rica
Sport Football Costa Rica

Costa Rica defeated New Zealand by a lone goal to grab the last slot for the 2022 Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in Qatar, on Tuesday night at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar.

Backed by their voiceferous fans who dominated the stands, Costa Rica took a third minute lead through Joel Campbell with a neat slice from a short cross from teenager Jewison Bennete down the flank.

The lead from the former Arsenal player who now plays for Monterrey in Mexico, ensured the Los Ticos hanged on till the final whistle.

However, it was the All Whites who had most of the exchanges, but failed to convert them into goals.

They exerted enough pressure on the Central Americans and had an equalizer from Chris Wood, but his header was adjudged illegal after VAR check revealed it was illegal.

This was after it was discovered that Matthew Garbett infringed on Óscar Duarte in the build up to the goal.

New Zealand had their dreams of equalizing and eventually winning dashed after they were reduced to ten men, when Kosta Barbarouses, lasted barely eight minutes when he was introduced into the game in the second half, before being dismissed for a studs-up foul on Francisco Calvo.

He was initially shown a yellow card, but a further VAR check saw his yellow card converted to red dashing completely the hopes of the All Whites.

Costa Rica have thus made their third successive World Cup appearance and would be playing in Group E with Spain, Germany and Japan.

The playoff between the fourth-placed team in the Concacaf region and the Oceania confederation winner, at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, brought the qualifying campaign to its end.

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