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Costa Rica have been by far the Cinderella story of the World Cup thus far.  Placed in a group with Uruguay, Italy and England nobody gave them a chance.  In fact according to SportsBettingCanadian.ca online sportsbook Bet365 had Costa Rica as the longest shots to win the World Cup this year at odds of 2500/1!  To put that in perspective even Honduras was given a better chance at 2000/1.

But we all know the story.  Costa Rica shocked Uruguay in their opening match by scoring 3 unanswered goals after allowing Uruguay to go up 1-0 on a penalty.  Costa Rica even had more shots than Uruguay in the game and were almost even on possession.

But surely this had to be a fluke right?  Italy, who were just coming off a big win over England would surely destroy the Central American side.  That didn’t happen.  Costa Rica won the game 1-0 and stuck right with the Italians for the entire game.  Both teams had 10 shots total, with 6 on target and Italy only had 58% of the possession.  Costa Rica had just booked themselves into the round of 16 with another win!

That said there were still a lot of detractors who still believed an eliminated English team who was just playing for pride would beat Costa Rica.  But once again that didn’t happen and once again Costa Rica did not pull out a fluke in the game that ended 0-0.  The teams completely split possession 50%-50%, which was surprising after England carried possession against both Uruguay and Italy.  The shots on target were also equal at 3 apiece and Costa Rica once again did not allow a goal.

Costa Rica has now played 3 teams each considered a contender for the World Cup, earned 7 points and only allowed one goal against, and it was on a penalty kick!

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So is Costa Rica for real?

After winning Group D I think we have to.  The team is obviously very well organized and can play with the best in the world.  They will now be up against the second place team from Group D, which will likely be either Ivory Coast or Greece.  Whichever team it is will be the weakest team that they have played so far in the competition.

That said I can almost guarantee you that the oddsmakers will still have Costa Rica as the underdog in that game.  I for one hope they do because I am going to be putting my money on Costa Rica to advance to the quarterfinals and show that CONCACAF is a force in International soccer.