Tag Archives: Costa Rica

UFWC Review of the Year 2014

15 title matches, 32 goals, six champions – that’s a summary of the Unofficial Football World Championships in 2014. In contrast to 2013, this year the UFWC was mostly dominated by some of international football’s biggest names, as the unofficial title was contested at the official World Cup, culminating in the creation of an ‘undisputed’ football world champion. But that undisputed championship didn’t last long, as the official and unofficial titles were separated by a resurgent football nation. And there were plenty of other surprises along the way.

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Following the UFWC at the World Cup

During the past month or so, over the course of the World Cup, the UFWC trophy has changed hands four times. Along the way I’ve managed to watch the drama unfold from three different continents as a nomadic football fan. Starting off in Hong Kong, where I watched the World Cup get underway, I then flew to London for the first weekend of the World Cup before watching the rest of it in South America. The adventure began in the first weekend of the World Cup, when Uruguay’s surprise defeat to Costa Rica gave the Ticos the UFWC title, which they managed to take all the way to the quarter finals.

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Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica (Neth win 4-3 on pens)

The Netherlands are the new Unofficial Football World Champions, and have booked their place in the World Cup semi finals after a remarkable penalty shoot-out win over Costa Rica in this epic quarter final. The Dutch had edged things over 90 minutes, but both sides had chances to win the game in a brilliantly entertaining period of extra-time. Just as the match was about to go to penalties, Dutch coach Louis van Gaal substituted goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, replacing him with Tim Krul, who had previously saved just two out of 24 penalties for his club Newcastle United. But the substitution turned out to be a master-stroke, as Krul saved two of the kicks, giving his side a 4-3 win.

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Costa Rica 1-1 Greece (Costa Rica win 5-3 on pens)

UFWC champions Costa Rica squeezed past Greece into the World Cup quarter finals after a penalty shoot-out settled this long, draining match. Greece had grabbed an injury time equaliser to put the match into extra time, with Costa Rica reduced to ten men. But goalkeeper Keylor Navas ended up being the hero for Los Ticos, saving brilliantly at the end of extra time, them saving the decisive penalty in the shoot-out to put his team through. Few pundits had reckoned on either side reaching the knock-out stages, never mind both.

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Who will be the Undisputed Football World Champions?

After two weeks, 48 games, and 136(!) goals, only 16 of the 32 World Cup finalists remain in Brazil. The UFWC title is still in Brazil, too, and will remain in play right the way through to the final. That means the eventual World Cup winners will also be the Unofficial Football World Champions, and the official and unofficial titles will be unified. All 16 remaining teams have the chance to become football’s undisputed champions. The current unofficial champions are Costa Rica, who now face Greece in the Round of 16, on Sunday, 29 June, at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife.

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