Costa Rica last team to qualify for 2022 World Cup in Qatar
Costa Rica became the last team to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with victory over New Zealand. In the intercontinental play-off, Costa Rica took a third-minute lead when ex-Arsenal player Joel Campbell shot low into the bottom corner.
New Zealand ended the match with 10 men as substitute Kosta Barbarouses was sent off for fouling Francisco Calvo. The World Cup begins on November 21 with Costa Rica playing 2010 champions Spain in their opener on November 23.
Ranked 31st in the world, Luis Fernando Suarez’s side go into Group E, which also contains four-time winners Germany and a Japan side who have advanced beyond the group phase in three of the past five tournaments.
Costa Rica have now qualified for the World Cup six times and this will be their third successive appearance.
Their best performance came in 2014 when they reached the quarter-finals, finishing top of a group that included Uruguay, Italy and England, before beating Greece on penalties in the last 16 and losing in a shootout to the Netherlands.
After finishing fourth in Concacaf qualifying, Costa Rica faced Oceania winners New Zealand with their tie taking place at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar.
New Zealand, ranked 101st in the world, had a good spell just after conceding the goal, but Alex Greive, Matthew Garbett and Newcastle striker Chris Wood all failed to convert chances from inside the penalty area.
Wood thought he had scored late in the first half when he shot past Paris St-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
However, the referee ruled out the goal after checking the incident on a pitchside monitor following a video assistant referee check – and judged Garbett had fouled Oscar Duarte before crossing for Wood to finish.
A VAR check also led to Barbarouses’ dismissal as the referee changed his original decision from a yellow card to red after seeing the challenge had caught Calvo on the ankle. The 10 men of New Zealand fought until the end, but could not find an equaliser. (BBC Sport)