The weirdness of this
Fancy meeting them here.
Greece arrived in Brazil as a long shot, Costa Rica as an extra-long shot. One will bubble up the quarterfinals, and who could imagine the Costa Ricans favored in any match -- much less one in the knockout stage?
Their popgun offense has been more than sufficient. Since yielding a penalty kick in minute 24 of the opener, the defense has thrown a shutout.
The Greeks would prefer a different story line: Blanked in the first two games, their two goals in the latest -- one on a penalty kick in added time -- were a veritable explosion.
Greece might need every bit of 120-minutes plus, which would include overtime, to scratch against Costa Rica. In fact, a penalty kicks shootout to decide a scoreless tie is a plausible scenario, given how the Greeks pack their defense and wait to counter. They are slightly more inclined to go forward than their soccer ancestors, who often treated midfield as a geographical border that required a passport to traverse.
While neither side has reached the elite eight, Greece's trophy case is not bare. It includes the European Cup hardware from 2004.