RECIFE, Brazil — With his team down to 10 men for nearly an hour, Keylor Navas made sure Costa Rica’s last line of defense held firm.
The goalkeeper came through with a string of stops in regulation and extra time and then made the only save in a penalty shootout to send Costa Rica through to the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time on Sunday with a win over Greece.
After Navas dived to his right to push out the effort by Theofanis Gekas, Costa Rica defender Michael Umana scored the decisive spot kick for a 5-3 win in the shootout, sending the team sprinting down the field to embrace its goalkeeper. The game had finished 1-1 following extra time, after Greece equalized in second-half injury time.
‘‘It was only a dream for us, a dream that became a reality,’’ Navas said. ‘‘A dream that was dreamt by an entire country.’’
Costa Rica will play one of the tournament favorites, the Netherlands, in the quarterfinals on Saturday in a surprising appearance in the last eight for the small country that has a quarter of the population of Brazil’s biggest city and which hardly anyone picked to even make it past the group stage.
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