Featured Matches
Previous
Tottenham Hotspur
AEL
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Internazionale
Stjarnan
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Hull City
KSC Lokeren
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
FK Astra Giurgiu
Lyon
4:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Krasnodar
Real Sociedad
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Lokomotiv Moscow
Apollon Limassol
3:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
Metalist Kharkiv
Ruch Chorzow
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Krasnodar
Real Sociedad
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Omonia Nicosia
Dinamo Moscow
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Neftchi Baku PFC
FK Partizan Belgrade
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 3
Game Details
PAOK Salonika
Zimbru Chisinau
4:15 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
FK Astra Giurgiu
Lyon
4:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Rostov
Trabzonspor
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Shakhter Soligorsk
PSV Eindhoven
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Sheriff Tiraspol
Rijeka
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Hajduk Split
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Twente Enschede
FK Qarabag
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Asteras Tripolis
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
FC Midtjylland
Panathinaikos
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 4
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
FC Zorya Luhansk
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
FC Zürich
FC Spartak Trnava
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 1
Game Details
Torino
RNK Split
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Sparta Prague
PEC Zwolle
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
St Etienne
Karabükspor
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Rapid Vienna
HJK Helsinki
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Debrecen
BSC Young Boys
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 3
Game Details
Internazionale
Stjarnan
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Hull City
KSC Lokeren
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Borussia Monchengladbach
FK Sarajevo
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 2
Game Details
Villarreal
Astana 1964
ESPNDeportes 6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
CD Nacional de Madeira
Dinamo Minsk
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
AEL
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Dinamo Zagreb
Petrolul Ploiesti
7:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 1
Game Details
Club Brugge
Grasshoppers Zürich
7:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Legia Warsaw
Aktobe Lento
7:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Rio Ave
Elfsborg
8:15 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Waterhouse
Tauro FC
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Olimpia
Alpha United
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Alajuelense
Chorrillo FC
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Danubio F.C.
Deportivo Capiatá
8:00 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 3
Game Details
Fluminense FC
Goiás EC
9:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Caracas F.C.
Inti Gas Deportes
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
César Vallejo
Millonarios
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Criciúma
São Paulo
11:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Sport
EC Vitória
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Deportivo Cali
UTC
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Wilstermann
Peñarol
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Banfield
Tigre
8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Vélez Sarsfield
Lanús
10:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Quilmes
San Lorenzo
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Gremio
Santos FC
11:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Unión Española
Universidad de Chile
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Pumas Generalena
Limon
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Early Argentina, Dutch survive

Five Aside Jul 5, 2014
Read

Campbell hype must be tempered

Arsenal Jun 30, 2014
Read

Positivity for Greece in wake of exit

Greece Jun 29, 2014
Read
 Posted by Matt Levin
Jun 25, 2014

Costa Rica can't stumble vs. Greece

Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto kept a winning attitude when facing opponents in Group D and must now prepare to advance out of the knockout round when they face Greece.

After closing out the group stage with a scoreless draw against England, Costa Rica topped Group D. As a result, the Ticos find themselves in unfamiliar territory in the knockout round -- as the favourite.

Costa Rica busted up three former World Cup champions in Group D, defeating Uruguay 3-1 and then Italy 1-0 before the tie against England. Yet in every one of those matches, bookmakers saw the Ticos as the underdog. La Sele coach Jorge Luis Pinto acknowledged as much before the match against the already-eliminated English, saying he didn't plan to take England lightly since many prognosticators still had the Three Lions winning.

- Report: CONCACAF hopes success pays off
- Pinto: We came with victory in mind
- Report: Pinto laughs off group of death tag

On Sunday, Costa Rica will go from heavy underdog to the favourite on paper against Greece. Pinto must prepare his side mentally to avoid a letdown after outplaying three football giants. With a win, the Ticos will break new ground and reach the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time, where they will likely be cast back into underdog status against either the Netherlands or regional rival Mexico.

But Costa Rica can't get caught looking ahead. Any team that reaches the round of 16 brings a formidable challenge. Costa Rica players insisted that they didn't care which team their side played in the knockout round, even saying they had an edge on Colombia thanks to Pinto's job history. The Colombia-born coach led his homeland's national team from 2007 to 2008.

Still, the Ticos should be relieved to have drawn the Greeks and not anticipated opponent the Ivory Coast. The tricky, star-powered African squad fell 2-1 to Greece after a heartbreaking last-minute penalty.

Both the Greeks and Ticos are fledglings in the knockout round, with Costa Rica making their second appearance and Greece there for the first time. Each side is promising not to underestimate the other. But after trumping the "Group of Champions", Costa Rica should have an upper hand.

Costa Rica now turn their attention to their second-round matchup with Greece.
Costa Rica now turn their attention to their second-round matchup with Greece.

The teams will meet in boiling Recife, the site where La Sele collected one of their most impressive victories by knocking off Italy. Once again, the tropic-loving Ticos face a defensive European squad in this northeast Brazil metropolis. While Greece has some scorching hot summers, the country doesn't receive anywhere near the humidity tolerated in Costa Rica or Recife.

Their advantages extend beyond the climate. Like Italy and Costa Rica, this will be a match between two defensive sides; Greece used their strong defence to win Euro 2004. Unlike Greece, the Ticos' offence has at least made periodic displays throughout this tournament. The Greeks failed to score in their first two matches. They opened with a 3-0 walloping from Colombia, then a 10-man Greece played Japan to a scoreless tie.

Costa Rica went into a defensive shell against England to get the result they needed to take Group D, but in the team's first two showdowns, La Sele showed flashes of a brilliant attack. They looked dominant in their three-goal barrage in the second half against Uruguay and had multiple chances to score on Italy before Bryan Ruiz's header banged against the crossbar and beyond the goal line.

Greece tallied both of their goals this tournament in the upset of the Ivory Coast, although the second came on a penalty. Costa Rica gave up only one goal in the group stage. That score came on a penalty 21 minutes into the Uruguay match. They have been perfect ever since. If Costa Rica scores first in Recife, that could be enough to send them to the next round.

The Greeks also have dealt with locker-room divisions, and crowd support almost certainly will be behind the tiny Central American country. One more key factor aiding the Ticos is the "spy" they had in the Greek professional league last season.

Joel Campbell, one of the tournament's breakout stars, competed for Greek champions Olympiakos while on loan from Arsenal. The striker, who turns 22 on Thursday, snared eight goals and 10 assists during league play. Campbell knows the Greek style and even played alongside three Greece national team starters as a member of Olympiakos. Tactical mastermind Pinto will be picking Campbell's brain for every insight he can get on their opponent.

On Wednesday, midfielder Yeltsin Tejeda called Greece his "least expected opponent" in the knockout round. He promised not to underestimate the European squad, and to demonstrate his point Tejeda said he has already queried Campbell for tips on outwitting the Greek midfield.

All Ticos anxiously await to see their side in this historic duel.

Matt Levin

Matthew Levin is a journalist based in San José, Costa Rica, where he has thrived on gallo pinto and fried plantains since 2010. He is a reporter and editor at The Tico Times and has had stories published by Reuters, The Global Post and The Arizona Republic. You can follow him on Twitter @mattlevin.