Navas: We can humble Holland

30 June 2014 04:47

Costa Rica are confident of writing another chapter in their World Cup fairytale when they come up against Holland in the quarter-finals.

Los Ticos reached the last eight of the World Cup for the first time on Sunday night when they beat Greece 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 stalemate in Recife.

After outperforming former world champions England, Italy and Uruguay, Costa Rica will now come up against one of the favourites for the trophy this year - Holland.

Costa Rica will be big underdogs again for the quarter-final in Salvador, but Sunday's penalty hero Keylor Navas sees no reason why he and his team-mates cannot pull off another shock win.

"We are thrilled to be through to the quarter-finals," the goalkeeper said.

"We're doing something massively important for our country. We need to keep this feeling going.

"(Holland) are a great side and one of the biggest teams in the world, but we're going be just as determined when we play them and show the same character. We'll be going out to win."

Navas almost gave up on his dream of becoming a professional footballer by pursuing a career as a graphic designer instead.

Now the goalkeeper is sure to be the subject of interest from big clubs across Europe, especially as he has one year left on his current contract with Levante.

Navas, who reportedly has a release clause of £6.5million in his contract, sent Costa Rica through when he saved the penalty of his former Levante team-mate Theofanis Gekas.

The fact that Navas had played and trained alongside Gekas always made him confident of stopping the Greek striker's attempt.

"We played together at Levante and I remembered what he used to do in training," Navas revealed.

"I was confident he wasn't going to change the way he takes his penalties, and in the end I was able to keep it out."

Costa Rica thought they had done enough to see Greece off in normal time when they held on to the lead after Bryan Ruiz's opener.

But the Greeks, aided by Oscar Duarte's dismissal, equalised in stoppage time through Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Navas kept Greece out during a frantic half hour of extra-time, though, and his penalty heroics sent Costa Rica through.

The defeat was hard to take for Greece captain Giorgos Karagounis, who was making his 143rd and final appearance for his country.

''This was my last game for Greece," the 37-year-old said.

''We wanted to stay in Brazil another week or even longer but you can't change it now.

''You don't always get such breaks in life but our heads are high."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 14:57