Costa Rica v New Zealand – Football Match Report – 14 June 2022
Joel Campbell’s first goal sent Costa Rica to the World Cup for a third straight tournament as they beat 10-man New Zealand 1-0 in their intercontinental qualifier on Tuesday and secured the final berth in the final in Qatar.
The former Arsenal striker scored after three minutes for Costa Rica as he weaved between two defenders to hit home a square pass from Jewison Bennette with the New Zealand defense slow to react.
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But New Zealand will feel battered after they had an equalizer scored by VAR for a foul in the build-up by Chris Wood putting the ball into the back of the net in the 39th minute.
A check revealed that Matthew Garbett had fouled Oscar Duarte in what appeared to be a harsh decision.
A VAR check also led to a 69th-minute red card for Kosta Barbarouses, leaving the Kiwis down to 10 men.
“We had an opportunity to score early and then we struggled,” Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suarez said in the post-match press conference.
“We knew what their strengths were. We knew we would struggle with their aerial balls. We had to make a change at half-time to have better ball possession and a line of five in defence. proved to be essential.”
The qualifiers between the fourth-placed team from the CONCACAF region and the winners from the Oceania confederation, at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, ended the qualifying campaign for the 2022 final in Qatar, which runs from 21 November to December 21. 18
Costa Rica have qualified for a sixth World Cup overall and will take part in Group E finals against Germany, Japan and Spain.
Campbell’s goal attracted some 6,000 traveling supporters, out of a crowd of 10,803, but did not precipitate the dominating performance expected from the Central American team.
Instead, it was New Zealand who looked the more enterprising of the teams, with centre-forward Wood, who was constantly watched by a cautious Costa Rican defense, the target of their attacks.
Alex Greive and Garbett also had chances in the first half, but their shot went wide.
Three changes from Costa Rica at half-time brought them out of their torpor but it was again New Zealand who showed more attacking initiative in the second half but without any return.
Costa Rican keeper Keylor Navas made a fine 76th-minute save from Clayton Lewis as New Zealand struggled in search of an equalizer with Costa Rica sitting back and soaking up the pressure until the final whistle kicked off happy celebrations.
“I thought we were by far the better team,” said disappointed New Zealand coach Danny Hay. “One team dominated, there was only one team trying to create good quality football.”