Pinto praise for Costa Rica

Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto saluted the achievement of his side as they qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup as Group D winners.

A 0-0 draw with already-eliminated England in their final fixture was enough to ensure that the supposed minnows of the section emerged top of the pile.

And Colombia-born Pinto was quick to praise the efforts of his squad after their shock victories over Uruguay and Italy and the stalemate with Roy Hodgson's men.

He said: "We've given Costa Rica status in the football world. No-one can say it was chance, luck or just for a few moments.

"It was a really complicated group of very experienced teams. But we came to fight and compete, and we have done.

\"We've been very constant. I hope we can keep on like that. We'll give our all whoever we face next.

"This was called the group of death, but it wasn't - not for us anyway.

"I'm so happy for Costa Rica. I know the love they have for football.

"May they keep enjoying it! I've loved the three games. We've played a sure, dynamic football. We're unbeaten, it's historic."

Pinto admitted it was a tough game against England, who made nine changes to their starting XI from the defeat by Uruguay as Hodgson shuffled his pack for their final fixture.

"They have a good attack and strong defence. It's a team that didn't have any luck," he added.

"It wasn't easy for me with the changes they made - quality players like Gerrard, (Raheem) Sterling and Rooney. I told you they weren't going to go home without a point."