It is kind of hard not to get swept away into the World Cup fever while living in Costa Rica. As I mentioned earlier, futbol (soccer) in Central America is more than just a game, It is also linked to a nations identity. For the first time in history the Ticos are advancing to quarter final after clinching a 5-3 win to Greece in a penalty shootout in last nights game.
We watched the game over at our friends Kasey and Noelia’s house. Our friends also have kid that is Eli’s age so the kids could run around and play why we watched the game. After the game the guys barbequed up some lomito, while the girls made up some salsa and guacamole. I also brought over a batch of homemade ginger beer that I shared with everyone at the game.
I think that is important to understand how much that means in a country like Costa Rica, who has always been the underdog entering into the world cup events. Last time Costa Rica made it out of the first round of the World Cup in the 90′s they made movie about the team turning the players into national heroes. This time not only did Costa Rica make it out of the first round but they are going to play in the quarter finals against the Netherlands in a few days. I think it safe to say that the ticos are ecstatic.
Across the Nation yesterday in front of every television set, whether it be on a front porch, on display in a department store window, or at a bar on the corner, crowds gathered as they supported their national team while they made history.
Image Courtesy of http://bleacherreport.com/
The game was close, almost too close for those whoa re not use to watching a game like soccer. The game came down to final penalty shoot-out between each team.
Costa Rica, down to 10 men for almost an hour after Oscar Duarte’s dismissal, scored their first four spot-kicks.
Theofanis Gekas missed for Greece, and Michael Umana settled the tie.
It means the Central American side – surprise qualifiers from a group containing England, Italy and Uruguay – go through to face the Netherlands on Saturday for a place in the semi-finals as their unlikely run at the World Cup continues.