Welcome to Sportstar's highlights of the Intercontinental World Cup playoff between Costa Rica and New Zealand being played at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
This was Neeladri Bhattacharjee bringing you buildup of this high-voltage decisive fixture along with minute-by-minute updates of the match as it happens.
That was all for the night. Thanks for tuning in and take very good care of yourselves.
Costa Rica 1-0 New Zealand
90+3' One final NZ, which is punched away by Navas, once and again on the follow up and NZ gets a free kick in the dying seconds of the match. Sail takes it which is cleared by Costa Rica
90' New Zealand tries an attack along the wings with Payne getting the ball in front only to run out of play for a throw-in for Costa Rica
88' Duarte looks to have picked up a cramp, but gets back on to his feet after assistance from Watson as the stadium and the Costa ican camp gets ready to run out the time
87' Bell tries a lofted cross for New Zealand, bu the ball flies past his target and Costa Rica gets a goal kick
84' Save! Wood makes a run behind the Costa Rican defence, beats the offside trap, but his final shot is saved by Navas
82' Eight more minutes for Costa Rica to live its dream for Qatar 2022. Ithas seven clean sheets from 14 qualification matches so far. All it needs is one more tonight!
79' Double Change for NZ! In: Paine , Stamenic, Out: Kirwan, Lews
Substitution for Costa Rica! In: Daniel Chacon, Out: Celso Borges
78' The corner follows another corner which finally is headed over the goal by Tuiloma
76' Save! Kirwan's cross is initially cleared off the box, but Lewis tries a brilliant strike from outside the box and keeps it on target. Navas meets it with equal quality making a beautiful save
75' Costa Rican fans are finding their groove with songs and jubilation in the stadium with the side outnumbering New Zealand and also having a slender lead
73' Substitution for New Zealand! In: Elijah Just, Out: Winston Reid
67' Red Card! Calvo tries ot receive the ball in his own half, but a challenge from behind on him by Barbarouses sends him off
66' Sweeper Keeper Sail! Costa Rica attacks on the counter with a long ball with Contreras rushing toi the ball. But the NZ goalie rushes out of the box to clear the ball away
65' Costa Rica has failed to launch a single shot on target in the second half, with Wood getting frustrated with the rock-solid defence of the Central American side
63' Foul! Wood receives the ball and turns to make an attacking run, but is briought down for a foul, with the free kick taken quickly by Hay's side
62' An hour play is done and a chance for Costa Rica with a through ball from Campbell for Contreras is just too much for the No. 7
60' Double Substitution for New Zealand! In: Kosta Barbarouses, Ben Waine, Out: Alex Grieve, Matthew Garbett
59' Wood tries to make a run off a throw-in, but Costa Rica's physical presence pushes the ball back into the NZ half, where Reid and Campbell try to get to the ball and the NZ captain concedes a foul for a late challenge on the former Arsenal man
57' Grieve makes a run in the midfield, but he is marked well enough as the ball reaches him and he is dispossessed of the same soon
56' Kirwan and Oviedo get to the ball at the same, while the final touch os off Kirwan with the attack ending as a goal kick in favour of Costa Rica
53' Foul! Reid and Oviedo gets together, with the Costa Rican warned verbally by the referee and nothing more follows except a free kick for NZ
52' New Zealand tries to attack on the counter, but Navas gets to the ball first and ends any chance of a potential goal from the All Whites
49' Costa Rica has three players zonally marked behind every forward as it looks to cling on to the lead that it has as Keylor Navas' side eyes a spot in Qatar 2022
48' New Zealand has been eliminated twice at this stage consecutively and will look to avoid a hat-trick of eliminations at this stage, but the Costa Rican defence is looking more resolute than ever
47' New Zealand begins the second half exactly how it ended the first -- attacking and havng more and more possession
Triple Change for Costa Rica! In: Waston, Martinez, Ruiz, Out: Fuller, Torres, Bennette
Second Half begins!
Costa Rica 1-0 New Zealand
45' New Zealand continues its consistent attacks, while Costa Rica has five, instead of three men at the back now . The message is clear -- play out the first half
39' No Goal! Garbett delivers a cross from the left, which after a deflection is finished by Wood to equalise for NZ, but the goal is under review and after an on-field reivews it is ruked out
Costa Rica 1-0 New Zealand
37' Free Kick for NZ! Clatyton takes it and the ball is delivered for Wood, who goes down in the box appealing for a penalty. The referee, however, is not interested and after a VAR check, no foul by Contreras is ruled
35' Campbell steals the ball off NZ, and Fuller tries to deliver a long ball in front, but New Zeakland had one white shirt at the back, who keeps Costa Rica at bay for the moment
34' Bell swings the ball in and Bill gets to it again, but this time, no power on the shot whatsoever as Navas takes control of the ball
34' NZ loses the ball and gets on attack soon after, getting the ball back, with Bill going for goal and earning a corner kick
32' New Zealand build up play with smooth one-touch passes, but Costa Rica is marking the movements well in fornt of the box as the attack fizzles out right there.
30' Torres makes a run along the right wing, dribbles to the edge and crosses as Reid blocks for a Costa Rica corner. Campbell swings it in, buty Tuiloma heads it out of danger
28' Costa Rica resumes play with a throw-in and keeps the ball in the NZ half, until Sail gets the ball back into his control to start from zero for New Zealand at the back
27' Garbett picks the ball close to the box and Cacace sends in the cross from the left but Costa Rican defence is there to cear the ball away and Campbell looks to be in some pain
25' Costa Rica has all the men at the back at the moment, Yesterday's match was evident of the kind of tense equal scorelines can lead the match into. Navas' side will be aware of the same.
24' New Zealand is pressing high up the pitch and Wood is leading the attack.
22' Torres is surrounded as Fuller comes to the rescue, but his run along the right is thwarted as NZ begins an attack on the counter. Contreras comes to Costa Rica's rescue, getting back possession of the ball
20' New Zealand comes forward again with Cacace's cross failing to find a connection in the box and Costa Rica gets a goal kick
19' New Zealand has pulled back control after the initial stumble, but Costa Rica continues to threaten with crosses along the flanks
15' Save! Bell provides a long ball from the left, which lands right in front of Navas, but he fails to stop it as Wood rushes to it, but the Costa Rican defence comes to the keeper's rescue and clears the ball out of danger
14' Costa Rica has been forced into its penalty box as New Zealand continues to attack through combination play
13' Another Chance for New Zealand! NZ attacks on the counter, crosses to the left an dthe header falls for Garbett, who shoots the ball wide off the target
11' Chance! A long ball headed in is missed by the Costa Rican defence and Grieve rushes to it and shoots, but it is off target
10' Costa Rica has three men at the back, while New Zealand's wing attacks are being looked after bty three wing-backs at the moment
9' New Zealand gets a corner kick, taken by Clayton Lewis, but the ball is cleared only for NZ to attack on the counter again
7' New Zealand, after the early hit is trying to absorb pressure and playing at the back, with a forward run that follows has Grieve go for goal, but a touch by Navas denies any chance of the same
3' GOOOOAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!! Costa Rica is in front with Joel Campbell scoring the early goal with Jewison Bennette proving the assist. Unlike yesterday, we have an early goal tonight
Costa Rica 1-0 New Zealand
11:30 pm: Kick Off!
11:23 pm: The players of both teams line-up in the tunnel and get ready to come out. New Zealand starts in its white kit, while Costa Rica starts in red-and-blue
11:10 pm: New Zealand is without a win since its victory in the Oceania World Cup Qualifiers against Solomon Islands.
New Zealand's last five games:
- New Zealand v Oman 0-0
- Peru v New Zealand 1-0
- Solomon Islands v New Zealand 0-5
- New Zealand v Tahiti 1-0
- New Zealand v New Caledonia 7-1
Costa Rica’s last five games:
- Costa Rica v Martinique 2-0
- Panama v Costa Rica 2-0
- Costa Rica v USA 2-0
- El Salvador v Costa Rica 1-2
- Costa Rica v Canada 1-0
10:50 pm: HEAD-TO-HEAD: Costa Rica and New Zealand have faced off against each other only once before in international football. The North American side brushed aside their opponents 4-0 in the 2007 friendly game.
10:30 pm: Starting Lineups out!
Costa Rica Starting XI: Keylor Navas (GK); Bryan Oviedo, Keysher Fuller, Francisco Calvo, Oscar Duarte; Yeltsin Tejeda, Celso Borges; Gerson Torres, J. Bennette, Joel Campbell; Anthony Contreras
New Zealand Starting XI Oliver Sail (GK); Nando Pijnaker, Bill Tuiloma, Winston Reid, Liberato Cacage, Niko Kirwan, Joe Bell, Clayton Lewis, Matthew Garbett; Chris Wood, Alex Greive
The odds are stacked against New Zealand as it prepares to take on Costa Rica in the final inter-confederation FIFA World Cup playoff final at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium here on Tuesday.
New Zealand coach Danny Hay was content with the underdog tag ahead of the game. “Undoubtedly, Costa Rica [will feel the most pressure]. The world's media has written us off, that we have no chance. They are ranked 31, while we are 101. I will be sleeping well, not sure their coach will be though (laughs) because there is a huge amount of pressure on them,” said Hay.
Hay, who expects a physical and cagey affair, will be banking on Newcastle United striker Chris Wood to step up and deliver in another big game to take the All Whites into the finals for the first time since 2010.
Costa Rica has its own big-game players and plenty of experience in the ranks with goalkeeper Keylor Navas, forward Joel Campbell and midfielder Celso Borges.
New Zealand, which is part of the OFC confederation, is coming off a 0-1 defeat to Peru in Spain earlier this month, where the South Americans found it hard to find spaces to attack. It also played out a goalless draw to Oman in Al-Rayyan. An under-strength Costa Rica lost to Panama before beating lowly Martinique in the CONCACAF Nations League.
Coach Luis Fernando Suárez warned of excessive optimism from people back home and identified NZ’s ‘simple, direct football’ strength as a threat to his side.
ALSO READ | FIFA World Cup 2022 Draw: Group guide
“We have our fate on the ground. We need to be very serious and concentrate for 90 minutes,” said Suárez. ”They will build-up play from the goalkeeper and try to play well from the inside and try to open up the pitch. They are strong with high balls, crosses and set pieces. And we really need to bare them (set pieces) in mind. We need to be careful and play our football, keep possession and find spaces behind the opponent.”
The winner will join Spain, Germany and Japan in Group E.
(The writer is in Qatar at the invitation of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy)
When and where to watch the FIFA World Cup playoff final?