sport

Pinto hails Costa Rica effort

Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto hailed his players as they booked a place in the World Cup quarter-finals with a penalty shoot-out victory over Greece.

Captain Bryan Ruiz looked to have won Sunday's last-16 clash in Recife in normal time, before Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos claimed an injury-time equaliser.

The match came down to spot-kicks and after Keylor Navas saved Theofanis Gekas' effort, Michael Umana stepped up to win the match for Los Ticos.

"I am very happy, this is an incredible emotion that we all feel," said Pinto. "This is an important win for the team and for the whole country. We are really proud.

"We are making history. It's beautiful what we have done. This win is for everyone in Costa Rica.

"We practiced penalties before and we had studied the opposition and that's why we scored 100 per cent.

"It was a dramatic match, a very difficult one. There were moments when we dominated the match but there were other moments when they did, but we were strong and we came through.

"We looked secure throughout the game, and we were full of confidence in the shoot-out, and that goes for the goalkeeper, who was amazing, and the penalty takers, who were just perfect.

"I'll say it again - we're delighted and we'd like to dedicate this win to all the people of Costa Rica."

Costa Rica will now face Holland in the last eight in Salvador on Saturday night, and Pinto already has his thoughts on Louis van Gaal's men.

"We respect the Netherlands, just as we respect all our rivals, but the story goes on and we're hungry for more."