Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By CARL SETTERLUND
An unprecedented failure of a World Cup for England ended with a whimper Tuesday in Belo Horizonte as the Three Lions played to a 0-0 tie against unlikely Group D champion Costa Rica, which clinched the group with the draw.
CONCACAF continued to represent well in Brazil as Costa Rica went 2-0-1 to become the region’s second team to go undefeated in the Group Stage, along with Mexico. The United States could do so as well, pending the Germany game.
Los Ticos advance to play the Group C runner up Sunday at 4 p.m. at Arena Pernambuco in Recife. Their opponent has not been determined, but would be the Ivory Coast if the current Group C standings hold.
After falling to both Italy and Uruguay, the English finished winless in the World Cup for the first time since 1958. It’s also the first time since 1994 (when they didn’t qualify) that the Three Lions will be absent from the Round of 16.
In the World Cup finale for a pair of England legends, 36-year-old Frank Lampard wore the captain’s armband initially, before passing it over to 34-year-old Steven Gerrard when the latter subbed on for Jack Wilshere in the 73rd minute.
Also notably starting on the bench for England was Wayne Rooney, who came on in the 76th minute and provided some impact, notably sending a shot on frame in the 80th minute.
Daniel Sturridge was again active up top with a game-high four shots and several appeals for a penalty kick that were denied by referee Haimoudi Djamel.
Costa Rica’s five-man back line was able to stifle an England squad that had the better of possession, but nonetheless came up goalless on just three shots on goal. Keylor Navas notched his second straight shutout after picking up a clean sheet against Italy last Friday.