San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Friendlies with benefits

How did Costa Rica's Group D rivals fare today?

Costa Rica takes on Paraguay in a crucial World Cup warm-up at 8 p.m. at San José’s National Stadium (read a preview here). But before that match could even begin, the three other teams in Costa Rica’s World Cup group completed their friendlies today.

Costa Rica will face three former World Cup champions in Group D, when they play Uruguay (June 14), Italy (June 20) and England (June 24). The triumvirate is not as powerful as it used to be, but all three will be heavy favorites against the Ticos. On Wednesday, we got a glimpse of Costa Rica’s future opponents as they played their own warm-ups.

Spain 1 Italy 0
at Madrid
Italy fell to the 2010 World Cup champions. Going against the defending champs is no easy task, and the Spanish team dominated most of the match. The Italians had a shot in the third minute hit the post, but spent a large chunk of the game getting pushed around by Spain. Italy played without injured star Mario Balotelli.

England 1 Denmark 0
at London
The English ended a long scoreless streak at home (264 minutes) with Daniel Sturridge’s header in the 82nd minute against the Danes. England played before 68,000 fans in Wembley Stadium. Neither team looked remarkable in the first half, but the English controlled the game from start to finish offering Denmark few changes to get on the board. The Danes did not qualify for the World Cup.

Uruguay 1 Austria 1
At Klagenfurt, Austria
The Uruguayans needed a second-half goal to avoid defeat to a team that failed to qualify for Brazil. Austria captain Marc Jacobs gave the home team a lead in the 14th minute as the team asserted control in the early going. Uruguay did not look exceptional throughout the match, but Alvaro Pereira’s 66th minute goal allowed the South American team to walk away with a draw.

See all the results from Wednesday’s international friendlies (including the U.S.’ humiliation at the hands of Ukraine).

Contact Matt Levin at

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