Football

The show stopper

FLYING HIGH: Keylor Navas was clearly Costa Rica's star of the tournament.

Costa Rica can take heart from not losing a match at the World Cup after their quarter-final exit at the hands of Holland yesterday morning.

One of the reasons for their historical march into the last-eight can be put down to Keylor Navas.

The goalkeeper, described as "the best in this World Cup" had helped the Central American side keep the Dutch at bay for 120 minutes before losing out 4-3 on penalties.

Navas, who plays for Levante in the Spanish La Liga, made a string of saves in the 0-0 draw after extra time but could not keep out the four penalties in the shoot-out.

He was also their hero in the 3-1 win over Uruguay, 1-0 against Italy and 0-0 draw with England (the group stage) and the penalty shoot-out win over Greece in the Round of 16 which ended 1-1 after extra time.

Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto said of Navas: "I think Navas has been the best goalkeeper in this World Cup.

"We're happy. We're proud. Of course, we're hurting because penalties are tough. But we've won ourselves (in that manner), so penalties, you have to accept them."

"I told my players that I was very proud of them and that the whole country is proud of them. We have given everything on the field.

PRIDE

"We came here having to play against huge countries - Italy, England, Holland - and we played them at their level. So we have to be proud of that."

Navas echoed the same sentiments, stressing that their Brazil campaign was a success.

"This World Cup has been a great experience and we're leaving with our heads held high. Everyone did a good job," the goalkeeper said.

"We left everything on the pitch. Nobody likes to lose and it's hard.

"We didn't lose any game - a penalty shoot-out isn't a defeat." 
- Wire Services.

World Cup