Jorge Luis Pinto laughed off the suggestion that Costa Rica had been drawn in the 2014 World Cup's Group of Death after they finished unbeaten and top of Group D.
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Having been drawn alongside former World Cup winners Italy, Uruguay and England, Los Ticos were widely expected not to progress past the group stage.
However, they reached the round of 16 for the first time since 1990 after beating Uruguay and Italy and holding a much-changed England side to a goalless draw on Tuesday in Belo Horizonte. "It wasn't the death group after all -- at least not for us," Pinto told a news conference post-match.
He dedicated Costa Rica's qualification to "those who believed in us and those who didn't."
"People started believing after the game against Italy," he added. "We will have to keep fighting. Whatever happens we are willing to fight."
Costa Rica needed only a draw to top Group D and played that way, setting up in a defensive 5-3-2 formation.
But Pinto defended his team's defensive tactics, saying they were out to attack. "Some people said we would only defend," he said.
"That's not true, you have seen it.
"We have been able to attack as well. That is why we are very proud."