Preview

World Cup pre-game: Costa Rica vs. England

With a trip to the knockout stage already secured, Costa Rica can sweep Group D with a victory over England Tuesday. (Coverage starts on Sportsnet, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup, 11:30 p.m. ET).

Costa Ricans have already advanced to knockout stage

Bryan Ruiz moved Costa Rica into the knockout stage of the World Cup with the game-winning goal against Italy last Friday. (Jamie McDonald/Getty Images )

Group A: Costa Rica vs. England

  • 12 p.m. ET, Tuesday, June 24

  • Sportsnet/CBC.ca/fifaworldcup

What’s at stake

Who bet on the Costa Ricans to be leading Group D at this point? Well done if you did. They’re very strong and through to the next round. It’s possible they’ll rest a few stars players.

England was booted out of the World Cup after only two games. It desperately wants to win — or at least draw this last match — to leave Brazil with a point.

These two teams have never played each other.

Impact players

Costa Rica. Bryan Ruiz. The big man scored a big goal against Italy. He’s brimming with confidence.

England. Wayne Rooney. He finally scored at the World Cup, and led his team in apologizing to English fans for leaving Brazil so early.

What to watch for

Costa Rica beat up Uruguay, and slipped one past Italy.

England needs to win the midfield time and again, and serve its forwards with pace and precision.

They said it

“We always believed we could do this. Football is not decided by the shirt you are wearing.” — Costa Rica’s Joel Campbell — who plays for Arsenal — talking about his country’s amazing World Cup success so far.

“Don't know how long I'll feel like this but it's not something I wanna feel again. Looking forward to the Costa Rica game.” — England’s Daniel Sturridge Twitter post.

The big number

17 — England’s teams have scored 17 goals combined in their last four World Cups. For comparison, Miroslav Klose of Germany has 15 goals all by himself.

Obligatory fun fact

Prince Harry is expected to be in Brazil for this match. A bit late for inspiration, perhaps.

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