Costa Rica and Greece provided the second fixture in as many days to be decided through a penalty shootout. Brazil and Chile settled the score through penalties on Saturday night with the hosts coming out on top 3-2 while Costa Rica bested the Europeans with a 5-3 penalty shootout score after regulation and extra time ended level at 1-1.
Costa Rica 1-1 Greece (Costa Rica win on penalties 5-3)
(Ruiz B. 52') (Sokratis 90'+)
The drama is thick in the round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The first four matches that have been completed have all been intense. Two have so far involved penalties and three featured very late equalizers or winners. While the Colombia win over Uruguay may have been a straightforward and convincing 2-0 victory, the drama off the pitch involving Uruguay's Luis Suarez and his suspension was enough to make up for the lack of on-pitch intensity in that match.
After the Netherlands stole victory from Mexico with an 88th minute goal and a penalty in stoppage time, Greece also took a late equalizer in their match against Costa Rica to force extra time.
Costa Rica had been leading from the 52nd minute and were on the home stretch when defender Oscar Luarte was shown a second yellow card on the 66th minute. He was given marching orders leaving Los Ticos a man down. Greece were running out of time but were able to eventually break down the Costa Rican defence in stoppage time forcing extra time.
Being a man down, the Costa Ricans struggled in extra time but were able to hold off Greece and extra time ended still on 1-1.
It was all down to penalties and both teams exchanged goals to get the score to Costa Rica 4, Greece 3. Costa Rican Goalkeeper Keilor Navas saved the attempt by Theofanis Gekas denying the Greek the chance to level the score at 4 points. With Costa Rica on four points and Greece now only with three, Michael Umana took the final kick and sealed the victory for the Costa Ricans and saved them from the heartbreak of losing a match they led most of the way.
Costa Rica will be facing the Netherlands in the quarterfinals on July 5.