Costa Rica (2-0-1) vs. Greece (1-1-1)
|Date & Time||Sunday June 29, 2014, 4:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Costa Rica +150
Greece and Costa Rica will kick off an elimination World Cup match on Sunday afternoon.
Greece bounced back nicely from its loss to Colombia with a draw against Japan and a victory over Ivory Coast. However, Greece can’t be too thrilled heading into the elimination rounds, as it was scoreless in its first two matches and has gone much of the tournament without the ball. Ivory Coast controlled possession for 54 percent of the time and Japan was on the attack for an insane 68 percent of the time. Greece has to be more aggressive offensively and can’t just sit back and play defense for 90 minutes. Georgios Samaras is going to be key in this match for Greece, as he controls the tempo offensively and scored one of the two goals in the win over Ivory Coast.
Costa Rica beat Uruguay and Italy, while settling for the draw against England. Really one of the surprises of the tournament thus far, Costa Rica has allowed only one goal in its first three matches thanks to goalie Keylor Navas and pressure defense. And that one goal came against Uruguay on a penalty kick. Costa Rica’s defense has made it really tough for opponents to get off good looks, as England only had three shots on goal and Uruguay had five. When Costa Rica isn’t spending much of the match defending, it’s getting quality looks on the offensive end thanks to youngster Joel Campbell leading the way. Overall, a dangerous team.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m taking Costa Rica to win this match. To be fair, Greece is a little lucky to have made it this far, while Costa Rica is a balanced team that puts its opponents in a vice grip defensively. When you have a Greece team that has struggled to score enough as it is, I have no idea how it’s going to find the net in this match.
Costa Rica will win this match and advance one step closer to the big game.