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Bulls Abroad: Costa Rica advance with Roy Miller on the bench

Roy Miller hasn't played a single minute, but Costa Rica is through to the knockout round.

Michael Steele

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Bracket'

One hundred and eighty minutes against Uruguay (FIFA Ranked #7) and Italy (#9), 4 goals for, 1 goal against, 2 wins, top of the group, and through to the knockout round. If I told you this is where Costa Rica would be before the start of the World Cup, you would've called me crazy. Hell, I didn't even expect this when I wrote a Roy Miller profile last week. If I told you it would happen without Roy Miller, it might sound even more crazy. It's all true.

Today, Costa Rica took on Italy with a chance to advance if Costa Rica could pull another upset out of a hat. They could at least eliminate England if they managed a draw. Italy came out strong, but Costa Rica's high defensive line took out Italy's forward, and allowed the Ticos to play the counter, until they eventually doing something no one expected, controlling possession. While they couldn't get the pressure on Gianluigi Buffon, they kept it up until the Italy defense broke and Brian Ruiz made them pay.

The teams came out in the second half, and it was a continuation of the first. The Ticso absorbing energy with a high defensive line, playing the counter, and controlling possession. When the game ended, the Costa Rica bench and fans in the stadium celebrated like they had just won the World Cup final. Costa Rica will have a chance to come out of Group D as #1 with a draw or win over the now eliminated England. That game will take place on Tuesday, June 24th at 12:00 pm eastern on ESPN2.