OLYMPICS Costa Rica beat New Zealand in playoff to take final spot at 2022 World Cup


Costa Rica beat New Zealand in playoff to take final spot at 2022 World Cup

By Lu Dong | People's Daily app

10:41, June 15, 2022

Costa Rica's players celebrate their win in the FIFA World Cup 2022 inter-confederation play-offs match between Costa Rica and New Zealand on June 14, 2022, at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in the Qatari city of Ar-Rayyan. (Photo: AFP)

Costa Rica became the last team to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with a 1-0 victory over New Zealand on Tuesday.

In Tuesday's intercontinental playoff, Costa Rica took a third-minute lead when former Arsenal forward Joel Campbell shot low into the bottom corner. That put the Central Americans into their third straight World Cup and sixth in total.

They will face Germany, Spain and Japan in a tough Group E at the tournament.

Joel Campbell (L) celebrates after scoring a goal to secure Costa Rica's 1-0 victory over New Zealand during their FIFA World Cup playoff match at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on June 14, 2022. (Photo: CFP)

Costa Rica's best performance came in 2014 when they reached the quarter-finals, finishing at the top of a group that included Uruguay, Italy and England, then beating Greece on penalties in the last 16 and losing in a shootout to the Netherlands.

New Zealand's neighbor Australia took the 31st qualifying spot in the same stadium on Monday when they beat Peru 5-4 on penalties.

A view of the FIFA World Cup winners' trophy during the final draw held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in Doha, Qatar on March 29, 2022. (Photo: CFP)

The first World Cup in an Arab nation starts in Qatar on November 21, with the final on December 18.

FIFA Qatar 2022 World Cup group draw:

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands

Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland

Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia

Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan

Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia

Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, Republic of Korea

(With input from AFP)

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