Latin America & Caribbean

Costa Ricans celebrate historic World Cup win in Brazil

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Media captionThere were wild celebrations in Costa Rica following the team's victory against Greece

The streets of the Costa Rican capital, San Jose, have been filled with fans celebrating the national team's latest win at the football World Cup.

Costa Rica beat Greece in a penalty shootout after the match, which ended 1-1, went into extra time in Recife.

With the result, Costa Rica have qualified for the quarter-finals, where they will play the Netherlands.

"We are making history. It's beautiful what we have done," said coach Jorge Luis Pinto.

"This win is for everyone in Costa Rica," Pinto said.

The small Central American nation has reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time in its history.

Tens of thousands gathered in San Jose in front of large screens to watch the match, which ended in dramatic fashion.

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Image caption Newly elected Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis (in front of the flag) celebrated with ecstatic fans
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Costa Rica supporters feared the worse when Greece equalised in injury time
Image copyright AFP
Image caption For their first time in its history, the small Central American nation qualified for the quarter-finals

Costa Rica opened the scoring in the second half and had a player sent off before Greece equalised in injury time.

The deadlock wasn't broken in extra time, despite both sides missing several opportunities.

In the penalty shootout, Costa Rica won 5-3. It scored at each of its attempts, and goalkeeper Keylor Navas saved a Greek penalty.

'Always the same'

Earlier on Sunday, Mexico were denied their quarter-final place by two late goals.

The Netherlands scored twice in four minutes to win the match 2-1. They will play Costa Rica on Saturday in Salvador.

More than 80,000 people watched the match on big screens at Mexico City's main square, the Zocalo. Big crowds gathered across the country.

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Image caption In Mexico City's Zocalo, more than 80,000 gathered to watch their team's defeat by the Netherlands
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Many Mexican supporters blamed the referee for the defeat
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption In the former Dutch colony, Surinam, fans celebrated the dramatic victory over Mexico

Thousands of Mexicans travelled to Brazil to follow the team.

At the end of the match, there were mixed feelings of disbelief and anger directed at the Portuguese referee, Pedro Proenca, who gave a controversial last-minute penalty after Dutch striker Arjen Robben went down.

"They robbed the game from us, those Dutch. It was no penalty, it wasn't a penalty," said Mexican fans Fernando Garcia and Gabriel Martinez outside the Castelao stadium in Fortaleza.

"Well we are not disappointed, we definitely played better. It's just a shame that always in the end we lose, it's just always the same," Mexican fan Luis Abala told the Associated Press news agency.

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