2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™

9 June - 9 July

2006 FIFA World Cup™

COSTA RICA 1-2 POLAND

Poland rescued some pride with a 2-1 victory over Costa Rica as both sides said goodbye to the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in Hannover on Tuesday, 20 June 2006.

With both sides already eliminated after two defeats, they went into this Group A match aiming to end on a high at least, and it was Costa Rica who started the better as they took a 25th-minute lead through Ronald Gomez's free-kick. However, Bartosz Bosacki drew the Poles level eight minutes later and the same player headed the winning goal in the 66th minute.

Poland's victory means they finish third in Group A with one win and two defeats - the same record as four years ago in Korea/Japan. With three defeats, bottom-placed Costa Rica are left to dwell on their poorest return in three FIFA World Cups.

The match:

The fans from both sides gave it everything for one last time when the anthems for their countries were played. Both sides were playing for pride after failing to qualify from the group stages and there was plenty of pride on show from both sets of supporters.

8': As the pace of the game picked up a little, the Ticos won a free-kick 40 yards out. Ronald Gomez went for goal, but while his shot carried power it was deflected for an easily cleared corner.

15': The Poland fans were not slow to let their team know when they disapproved and loud whistles reverberated around the stadium when Maciej Zurawski curled a free-kick wide from 20 yards.

24': Costa Rica showed how it should be done when opening the scoring. Paulo Wanchope went to play a neat one-two on the edge of the Poland penalty area and was brought down by opposition captain Jacek Bak. Up stepped Gomez to send a low left-footed shot through the wall and through the legs of embarrassed goalkeeper Artur Boruc. (1-0)

30': Costa Rica could have had a second goal. A low cross from the right from Wanchope picked out Gomez unmarked 12 yards out but he missed a great chance with a weak shot. Less than a minute later Gomez picked out Wanchope in a similar position but he miskicked completely.

33': Poland were made to pay the price for those misses when, from a left-wing cross, Bosacki volleyed home from six yards. (1-1)

41': A sweeping move took Poland from their own half to the edge of Costa Rica's penalty area, but a low shot from Ireneusz Jelen was blocked.

Poles take the points

49;: There was an early chance for Costa Rica when play resumed, but after clever control Cristian Bolanos just failed to lob Boruc.

52': Borussia Dortmund's Ebi Smolarek was next to threaten, while Leonardo Gonzalez went close at the other end.

65': Poland were picking up the tempo, however, and a low shot from Krzynowek was turned round for a corner at full stretch by Jose Porras.

66': From the ensuing corner, Poland took the lead as Bosacki rose high on the edge of the six-yard box to head powerfully home. (1-2)

82‘: The Ticos thought they had found a way back into the game when Wanchope lobbed Boruc and then headed the ball into the open goal, but his celebrations were cut short when he noticed the raised flag of the assistant referee.

87': With the clock ticking down, Poland nearly grabbed a third goal. A left-wing cross caused problems for Porras, and Pawel Brozek was inches away from connecting with what would have been a header on an open goal.

In conclusion:

Poland wanted so much more from this FIFA World Cup, but at least they ended with a win. For the Costa Ricans it brings a disappointing finale to a campaign that began with a creditable display in the Opening Match against Germany.

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