World Cup 2014 LIVE: Day 18 including reaction to the Netherlands' dramatic comeback victory over Mexico and Costa Rica win on a penalty shoot-out over Greece - Live coverage - The Independent

World Cup 2014 LIVE: Day 18 including reaction to the Netherlands' dramatic comeback victory over Mexico and Costa Rica win on a penalty shoot-out over Greece

Welcome to The Independent's coverage of day 18 at the Fifa World Cup in Brazil. Samuel Stevens and Marc Williams brought you the action as the Dutch go through to the quarter-finals with a dramatic last minute comeback against Mexico and ten-man Costa Rica beat Greece on penalties...


    • Costa Rica 1 (Ruiz, 52') Greece 1 (Papastathopoulos, 90') - FT Costa Rica win 5-3 on penalties
    • Michael Umana scores vital penalty to send Costa Rica through after Fanis Gekas misses for Greece
    • Sokratis Papastathopoulos equalises in the 92nd minute to force extra-time
    • Costa Rica down to 10 men after Oscar Duarte is sent off 
    • Bryan Ruiz gave Costa Rica the lead 
    • Netherlands 2 (Sneijder 88', Hunterlaar 94') Mexico 1 (dos Santos 47') - FT
    • Klaas Jan Huntelaar scores penalty in 94th minute to send Dutch into quarter-finals
    • Wesley Sneijder cancels out Giovani dos Santos' earlier goal

    6/29/2014 10:22:08 AM

    Good morning, folks! After a whole twenty-four hours with no football to feast our eyes on, the Fifa World Cup announced its return in dramatic fashion last night. The Independent's Samuel Stevens here to get you clued up ahead of the tournament's next chapter tonight.

    With Brazil sealing their place in the quarter-finals, courtesy of Julio Cesar's goalkeeping exploits in the penalty shoot-out victory over Chile, they were later joined by Colombia as James Rodriguez continued his fine vain of form against a Luis Suarez-lite Uruguay.

    We now turn our attentions to early pace-setters Netherlands who will have to navigate their way past a banana skin tie against Mexico. Costa Rica, on the other hand, will need to dispose of Greece if they are to build upon their excellent start to this summer's tournament.

    We'll be bringing you all of the reaction to last night's action as well as previewing tonight's games and sub-plots. Don't go away!
    6/29/2014 10:46:40 AM
    Vote: Has James Rodriquez scored the goal of the tournament so far?

    It's an aged old discussion football fans across the world have always had following a World Cup: who scored the best goal?

    This summer, however, we've been treated to some simply sublime efforts and we're barely into the knock-out rounds.

    After Colombia's comfortable victory over Uruguay last night, their manager later said that this summer's tournament had become 'James Rodriguez's World Cup'.

    The Monaco striker scored both goals to take his tally to five in four matches. But despite moving to the top of the Golden Boot chart, it was his opening goal at the Maracana that will rightfully bring him the most attention.

    What's been your favourite? Vote in our poll!
    6/29/2014 11:12:02 AM

    The former QPR man saved efforts from Mauricio Pinilla and Alexis Sanchez as the hosts won the shoot-out 3-2 after the last-16 match had ended 1-1 after extra time.

    “Before the penalties Julio said, ‘hit them with confidence and I’ll stop three’,” said Brazil’s captain Thiago Silva.

    It was preordained. Chile were a great team but we found strength. The most important thing is that the group is united, independent of any mistakes.
    6/29/2014 11:40:11 AM

    Alan Pardew's World Cup column: Suarez saga a smack in the teeth for Liverpool

    I know Brendan well, and he would have been buzzing about the performances of Suarez, plus Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, who I thought were England’s best two players at the tournament.

    He’s got a fantastic year out of Suarez, the double Player of the Year winner, and must have been rubbing his hands together, planning ahead for a Champions’ League campaign. Then this lightning bolt strikes.

    It was horrendous for Uruguay and their prospects, of course, but people here will understandably be concentrating on the implications for Liverpool, who will suffer from his ban from crucial games. And not for the first time.
    6/29/2014 11:44:54 AM
    Blind faith in Louis van Gaal’s Dutch revolution

    Daley Blind, the Ajax and Netherlands left-back, is proof of Louis van Gaal's progressive thinking, argues The Independent's Tim Rich. 

    When the Manchester United manager's squad arrived in Brazil, there was a feeling that a defence whose most famous member was Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar would not withstand much pressure. That, however, may be why the Netherlands face Mexico with a 100 per cent record. 

    The world footballers have largely gone and as a result this a different type of Dutch side – where talent and team spirit has not been buried under a mound of egos.

    That philosophy will be vital if the Dutch are to defeat Mexico and progress to the quarter-finals.
    6/29/2014 11:55:22 AM

    Think big!

    Costa Rica's boss Jorge Luis Pinto has urged his team to think big ahead of their Last 16 match against Greece.

    Costa Rica have been a big surprise to many so far at this World Cup and now have a real shot at making the quarter-finals. 

    Read what their manager had to say before the game and don't forget to vote in our poll! 

    We have to keep doing what we’ve already been doing and play on the front foot. We didn’t sit back in any of the three games in the first phase and it won’t happen now. We think big.

    6/29/2014 6:27:39 PM

    Greece's time to shine?

    The Greek style of football is certainly not everyone's cup of tea but they have done superbly well to get through their group and into the lottery of the knock-out stages.

    "Oh my God, yes!" ran the front page headline in Greece’s SportDay newspaper on Wednesday, the morning after the country’s success in reaching the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time. Elsewhere in the world, a more likely response might have been: “Oh my God, no!”.

    6/29/2014 6:32:12 PM

    That 'Group of Death'!?

    Costa Rica made a mockery of what was supposed to be the 'Group of Death' sweeping aside Uruguay, Italy and England. 

    Now, after topping Group D, they have been rewarding with a Round of 16 clash with Greece.

    It is because of the 3-5-2 system employed by Jorge Pinto and partly because of their work-rate. In the second half of their 1-0 win over Italy, Fifa statistics noted that Costa Rica ran 12.7km more than their opponents. 

    6/29/2014 6:39:35 PM

    Key details!

    Get clued up about tonight's second game including all the main strengths and weaknesses of both sides. 

    Costa Rica v Greece certainly wasn't what many people thought would be the fixture tonight but that is the magic of the cup!

    6/29/2014 6:46:48 PM

    All sorts going on around the Indysport's website, go check it out before today's second game gets underway! 
    6/29/2014 6:49:47 PM
    Team news: Come on then guys, team news is served! 

    Costa Rica: Navas, Gamboa, Diaz, Umana, Gonzalez, Duarte, Ruiz, Borges, Campbell, Tejeda, Bolanos

    Greece: Karnezis, Torosidis, Holebas, Karagounis, Manolas, Papastathopoulos, Salpingidis, Maniatis, Samaras, Samaris, Kone
    6/29/2014 6:53:23 PM


    'Dream' is the word of this tournament so far! Brazil are dreaming, James Rodriguez is dreaming, everyone is in dreamland. 

    Fans of Costa Rica and Greece may well be thinking that their appearance at the Last 16 stage is somewhat of a dream too but it's really happening, honest!

    Simon Rice looks into this, the tournament of 'dreams'!

    By common consent this World Cup in Brazil is turning into one of the best in recent memory, some might say that with so many enthralling games, inspired performances and breathtaking goals taking place in the spiritual home of football it is a 'dream' tournament.

    6/29/2014 6:59:09 PM
    Twitter is getting ready for this one too! Kick-off in just under an hour...

    6/29/2014 7:02:50 PM
    1 min: Wow, some start from Greece who have a shot at goal already! Not the cagey, defensive start from them like their group games. It comes to nothing though and Costa Rica get their first meaningful touches of the ball. 
    6/29/2014 8:04:02 PM
    4 min: This is Greece's first ever appearance in the knock-out stages of a World Cup so Cristian Gamboa decides to take an early pop-shot at goal and test out any early nerves. The Rosenborg man's effort skims well wide though. 
    6/29/2014 8:06:24 PM
    7 min: Costa Rica have made a more than promising start to this game and Joel Campbell looks up for it! His good work releases Christian Bolanos down the left wing but his effort is struck wide. Bolanos once had a trail with Charlton Athletic, did you know? Anyway, good start from them! 
    6/29/2014 8:09:26 PM
    Be afraid, be very afraid! The main man is here to watch this, the battle of the minnows! 

    6/29/2014 8:10:32 PM
    10 min: Lively first ten minutes to this game and Costa Rica look like they've lost none of their vibrancy or flair from the group stage. Greece also look like decent and that they've left the keys of their big blue bus back in the changing rooms as Samaras tries to get through the middle but is caught offside. 
    6/29/2014 8:13:02 PM
    These are the 22 men doing battle this evening! I do like the Greek kit, has to be said! 

    6/29/2014 8:15:17 PM
    14 min: Greece have come to attack here and that is very nice to see indeed! Karagounis whips in a fine corner but Papastathopoulos (that takes some spelling!) can't get his header on goal. 
    6/29/2014 8:16:53 PM
    Miguel Herrera has come out to talk about his side's exit from the World Cup! 

    6/29/2014 8:18:17 PM
    20 min: Both sides settling into this game after an enjoyable first quarter of an hour. Both teams look like they are happy to play with it around the back-four but both do have good threats going forward. No real chances just yet, let's hope for some goal-mouth action soon! 
    6/29/2014 8:21:19 PM
    23 min: Joel Campbell wins a free-kick after a foul by Karagounis but the ball-in goes right through the box without a telling touch from anyone. It is tight and finely balanced here but, on balance, Costa Rica are just shading it. 

    We have a Mexican wave, never a good sign… 
    6/29/2014 8:25:12 PM
    Some pics of the action so far...

    6/29/2014 8:27:11 PM
    28 min: We have our first shot on target of the night! Giorgos Karagounis sends an effort at goal which means Keylor Navas has to get off his backside and do something. This game can only get better...
    6/29/2014 8:29:56 PM
    That's a top stat! 

    6/29/2014 8:31:15 PM
    30 min: The first test for Orestis Karnezis too and it's all action now (not really). Joel Campbell sends in a dangerous corner-kick but the Granada 'keeper collects well. 
    6/29/2014 8:32:57 PM
    35 min: Dear, oh dear. Gonzalez tries to pick out Bryan Ruiz down the right hand side but smashes his pass right out of play. 

    As we have the time, if anyone has a Vasilis Torosidis Panini sticker going spare, I need it to complete by Greece section! Do let me know! 

    Back on the field, Andreas Samaris is the first man into referee Ben Williams' book. 
    6/29/2014 8:36:48 PM
    37 min: Chance for Greece. Massive chance for the Greeks after the first piece of real quality in this game. Jose Holebas sends in a peach of a cross right onto the foot of Dimitris Salpingidis. The PAOK man can't quite get enough on it though and Navas does well to put it behind. Chance! 
    6/29/2014 8:39:53 PM
    42 min: Greece will be rueing that Salpingidis chance but they must forget it now. Joel Campbell tries to pick the pocket of Manolas but the referee calls him up for a foul, generous that. Greece race up the other end and Christodoulopoulos (that takes some spelling too!) wins a free-kick in a dangerous position.
    6/29/2014 8:43:45 PM
    44 min: Not good enough from Kargounis as Navas plucks his free-kick from the air. Poor from the Fulham man, that needed to be whipped in at pace. 
    6/29/2014 8:44:52 PM
    45 min: Two minutes of added time to come as Samaris takes a shot at goal but no good with that one. Both teams look like they need to go in for a break and have a bit of a rethink.
    6/29/2014 8:47:19 PM
    HALF TIME! Costa Rica 0 Greece 0
    6/29/2014 8:48:09 PM
    HT: Ben Williams, our ref, calls half time on a pretty dull affair in Recife. The second half can only improve. 

    With the prize that is on offer to both sides, you can understand why the game is how it is but we have been spoilt at this World Cup so far and we want more from this one!! 
    6/29/2014 8:51:22 PM
    The story of the first half through pictures! 

    6/29/2014 8:56:16 PM
    Our man Glenn Moore sums up the first half from Recife! 

    A game the purist might describe as intriguing and the average punter regard as dull, the latter view being the dominant one in Recife to judge from the jeers at the half-time whistle.  This is the most improbable knock-out pairing since Portugal edged out Brazil in the group stages to meet rank outsiders  North Korea in 1966 at Goodison Park. It is not, however, remotely as interesting (Portugal recovered from being 3-0 down to win 5-3 in that game).

    Salpingidis, a tricky threat at Euro 2012, and the impressive Holebas have combined for the best chance and Greece have probably edged the half. They are gradually growing into the game and beginning to look quite threatening.

    6/29/2014 8:57:46 PM
    HT: Don't forget the victor of this game claims the right to play Holland in the quarter-final on July 5th! Some prize, so let's hope for better in the second half. Action about to get back underway! 

    Perhaps this explains it...

    6/29/2014 9:02:54 PM
    45 min: Greece get us going again in Recife! No changes at halftime. Are we in for extra-time and penalties like yesterday??
    6/29/2014 9:05:20 PM
    46 min: Neither of these sides has ever been beyond the Last 16 stage of a World Cup, this is Greece's first appearance in the knock-out stages altogether. History will be made tonight one way or the other.
    6/29/2014 9:07:29 PM
    48 min: The first spark of the second half as Yeltsin Tejeda goes in hard on Giorgos Karagounis and picks up a yellow card. The referee couldn't wait to get his card out then but thankfully it is only yellow. 
    6/29/2014 9:09:36 PM
    GOAL!!! Costa Rica 1 Greece 0 Bryan Ruiz!!
    6/29/2014 9:12:28 PM
    52 min: It's that man again, Bryan Ruiz! Costa Rica's captain gets his second goal of the World Cup and that is just what tonight needed! Christian Bolanos does well down the left and picks out Ruiz with his pull back. The Fulham man makes no mistake as he sweeps it into the back of the net. We have lift off!! 
    6/29/2014 9:15:06 PM
    54 min: Penalty appeal! Costa Rica could have made it two goals in just a few minutes here but they are denied a clear penalty. Vasilis Torosidis handles in the box after misjudging a cross but the referee gives nothing. 
    6/29/2014 9:16:30 PM
    You think, Robbie?

    And Brian, we have one now! 

    6/29/2014 9:17:38 PM
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