Costa Rica Beats New Zealand to Get the Last Spot at 2022 World Cup

Costa Rica international Randall Leal
Costa Rica international Randall Leal. Photo by Kevin Langley/CSM/Shutterstock CONCACAF Gold Cup: Mexico vs Costa Rica, Houston, USA - 29 Jun 2019

The list of 2022 World Cup participants is officially locked as of Tuesday. Costa Rica claimed a 1-0 win over New Zealand in the intercontinental playoffs and is the last team to secure its place at the tournament in Qatar.

Costa Rica will be a part of a tough Group E which features Japan, 2010 World Cup champions Spain, and four-time world champions Germany.

Costa Rica secured a place in the intercontinental playoffs after finishing fourth in the CONCACAF qualifiers, while New Zealand got in after winning the Oceania qualifiers. The match was played in Doha at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

The game got off to a flying start after former Arsenal star Joel Campbell found a crack in New Zealand’s defense and got the ball into the net in 3rd minute of the match. Newcastle United man Chris Wood scored the equalizer in the 36th minute, but VAR decided to nix the goal due to a foul.

New Zealand continued pushing for a goal in the second half, but the task became much more challenging after Kosta Barbarouses was sent off in the 69th minute. Oceania champs had one last big chance in the 76th minute, but Keylor Navas stopped a shot from Clayton Lewis with an impressive effort.

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