San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican under-20 team falls to Brazil in World Cup semifinals

The clock struck midnight on the Cinderella story of the Costa Rican under-20 national team Tuesday, as the young Ticos fell to Brazil 1-0 in the U-20 FIFA World Cup in Egypt.

Costa Rica fought valiantly against the heavily favored Brazil, limiting the potent Brazilian attack for much of the game, however in the 67th minute, Alan Kardec blasted a close-range shot past Costa Rican goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado for the lone tally of the match.

“I´m very proud of the boys,” Costa Rican coach Ronald González said after the game. “It was a performance that gives us great confidence for the future. Some defeats can bring great hope, and this was one of them. That said, there is no doubt that Brazil deserved to win.”

Brazil dominated possession for much of the game and created several opportunities to score prior to Kardec´s goal. Costa Rica goalkeeper Alvarado stifled many opportunities and continued to shine as one of the best young keepers in the world.

Costa Rica created a fair share of chances as well, firing several shots just wide and, in the 16th minute, a tremendous free kick blast by David Guzman was tipped just over the crossbar by Brazilian keeper Rafael.

Costa Rica will play Hungary in the third place game on Friday at 9 a.m. Brazil moves on to play Ghana in the World Cup final on Friday at 12 p.m. Ghana beat Hungary 3-2 Tuesday.

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