World Cup pre-game: Costa Rica vs. Greece

A berth in the quarter-finals would be a first for Costa Rica or Greece. The winner here will play Netherlands.

Neither team has ever made it to the quarter-finals

Bryan Ruiz of Costa Rica, left, has been a major factor in his team's surprise success at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. (Murad Sezer/Reuters)

Costa Rica vs. Greece

  • 4 p.m. ET, Saturday, June 29
  • CBC TV,

What’s at stake

  • Both teams would make history by getting to the quarter-final match.
  • The winner here will play the Netherlands.
  • These teams have never played each other at a World Cup.

Impact players

Costa Rica: Bryan Ruiz. His playmaking, and his goal scoring, have been instrumental in getting Costa Rica through to this point.

Greece: Georgio Samaras. He put this team through with a last-minute goal against Ivory Coast.

What to watch for

Costa Rica was somewhat flat against England in their last Group match. They want to re-discover the flare that put them atop Group D.

The Greeks have only two goals so far. They improved their ball possession in their third game (46 per cent) compared to only 32 per cent against Japan in their second match. But they need to find the back of the net.

They said it

“They (the Greeks) are in the World Cup and they beat an excellent team, Ivory Coast. If they are there [in the second round], it is because they were better.” —​ Costa Rica’s midfielder Yeltsin Tejeda speaking to local media

“We have to pay a lot of attention to this game, they came out top in the ‘Group of Death.’ As a result we cannot allow ourselves to underestimate them.” — Greek manager Fernando Santos, quoted in The Tico Times

The big number

24 — The number of years since Costa Rica was last in the round of 16. Greece has never made it this far.

Obligatory fun fact

According to ESPN’s Paul Carr, Georgios Samaras's goal (90'+3) is the latest game-winner to put a team into the World Cup knockout round.