World Cup Soccer Betting: Costa Rica vs. Greece

World Cup Soccer Betting:  Costa Rica vs. Greece

The 2014 World Cup is in the knockout rounds now and this Sunday afternoon contest features Costa Rica against Greece. Costa Rica has been one of the biggest surprises in the tournament while Greece was given a good chance to advance in a less than overwhelming group. The winner of this contest will face the winner of the Netherlands and Mexico in the quarterfinals.

Costa Rica was not expected to do anything at the 2014 World Cup. They looked unimpressive in qualifying, even less impressive in their warm up exhibition games and had a number of key injuries that left experts suggesting that they’d be lucky to earn a point in Brazil. They apparently didn’t get the memo as they’ve been playing with focus and intensity and have shocked everyone by not only making it through to the knockout stage but by winning Group D. Now the question becomes how far can they advance against an ever improving level of competition? Probably not far since if they win here they’ll face either Mexico or The Netherlands but they’ve got a good shot of getting past this game. Jorge Luis Pinto has done a phenomenal coaching job with Costa Rica not only by shuffling their lineup and giving playing time to younger talent but by convincing them that they can not only compete but win despite the loss of their best three players.

Greece managed to make it through but didn’t look particularly impressive in doing so. They lost to Columbia, finished in a scoreless tie with Japan and beat an overrated Ivory Coast team. Greece isn’t a particularly talented team and finds their success through strong tactical defense. The problem with that is unless you’re doing this at the highest level (eg: Mexico) the ‘playing not to lose’ strategy doesn’t work in the knockout stages.

Costa Rica has momentum, enthusiasm and focus. They’re not supposed to be here so they’re playing loose and that could be the best counter for the methodical Greek approach to the game. Costa Rica probably won’t go any deeper in this tournament but they should have enough to get past Greece and into the quarterfinals.