Italy failed to deliver the convincing performance they had promised, but ultimately did enough to beat Costa Rica 3-1 and sneak into the last eight of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Dubai 2009 as Group C runners-up. The Central Americans, meanwhile, will return home pointless following their third straight loss.

Italy began the game cautiously, but took a 2-1 lead in at the first break thanks to a Simone Feudi strike and a penalty from Pasquale Carotenuto, which came after Sterling’s equaliser. The second period was one of few chances and duly finished goalless.

After a nervy opening to the last 12 minutes, Italy eventually put the game beyond their opponents’ reach through the lively Paolo Palmacci. Argentina’s failure to beat Russia in normal time sealed Gli Azzurrini’s place in the quarter-finals, where they will meet Group D winners Brazil.