Memo to Monsieur Arsene Wenger – Quit looking for a new striker that will cost you millions and millions of pounds and play Joel Campbell, instead of loaning him out again.
In an upset of epic proportions, Campbell and Costa Rica stunned Uruguay 3-1 in their Group D match to just keep this amazing FIFA World Cup 2014 entertainment machine rolling nicely along.
Campbell was the star of the night for Costa Rica in Fortaleza, scoring one and setting up another as the minnows of Group D, the team that everyone though would finish rock bottom with three defeats, pulled off a monumental upset against the hapless Uruguayans, who just, plain and simple, failed to show up in the second half.
Uruguay seemed like they might not miss Luis Suarez, early on, opening the scoring in the 28th minute via a penalty from Edinson Cavani. However, scoring the opener through a penalty seems to be a curse at this World Cup, as Spain found out in miserable fashion, with Costa Rica this time biting back in some style with three second half goals.
Campbell, the serial Arsenal loanee, started the comeback with an awesome finish, before Oscar Duarte headed Costa Rica into the lead, a lead they would only bulge courtesy substitute Marcos Urena. Uruguay's night only got worse, as Maximiliano Pereira was given a straight red card for a rash, challenge on the brilliant Campbell, taking out all his frustrations with one swipe of his boot.
The win for Costa Rica has made all the Group D predictions go bonkers, with England and Italy probably sensing a way through, if they can keep their heads, like Uruguay obviously didn't.
Uruguay, without that buzzing Suarez, did not exactly set the world on fire from the off, but did look the more likely to score. Everything that was good about Costa Rica went through Campbell, with the Arsenal man showing a bit of magic every time he had the ball at his feet.
A couple of long-range efforts from Campbell sent the Uruguay alarm bells ringing, but it was the South Americans that opened the scoring. Before the goal, Uruguay had sent a couple of warnings to Costa Rica from setpieces, with Diego Godin, first, finding the back of the net, which was correctly ruled out for offside, before Cavani sliced a wonderful chance wide.
The goal came from a third freekick, with Diego Lugano going under the challenge of Julian Diaz, who had his arms wrapped around the Uruguay captain. The German referee Felix Brych had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot, with Cavani, also, without any hesitation, slamming the ball into the bottom corner to give Uruguay the lead just before the half hour.
Costa Rica, who could have easily got a penalty themselves as the Uruguayan defence also imbibed some wrestling moves of their own during setpieces, did their best to get back into the game before halftime, but despite a couple of half-chances, goalkeeper Fernando Muslera was never really tested.
In fact it was Uruguay who nearly went into the break 2-0 ahead with Diego Forlan's effort right on the stroke of halftime taking a wicked deflection and looking destined to loop into the net only for Keylor Navas to pull off a stunning save.
Uruguay would have come into the second half hoping to extend their advantage, but they were in for a rude awakening as Costa Rica shot out of the blocks quickly, with Muslera finally called into action by Christian Bolanos.
It took Costa Rica only nine second half minutes to make it 1-1, though, and it was a peach of a goal. Cristian Gamboa chased a seemingly hopeless ball down the right, which looked like going out, refusing to give it up and managing to put in a nice cross into the penalty box. The cross caught out the Uruguay defence with the ball falling perfectly for Campbell, nerveless on the big stage, to rifle home from 15 yards.
Costa Rica weren't done, though, as three minutes later they took the lead for the first time. Duarte got ahead of his marker at the far post to head in a freekick perfectly past Muslera and into the bottom corner.
Pandemonium reigned after that goal, as Uruguay, with Suarez warming up on the sidelines, but showing no signs of actually taking part in the game, pressed the panic button. Try as they might, Uruguay never really managed to trouble the Costa Rican defence too much, and the final dagger fell in the 85th minute with substitute Urena adding the icing on the cake.
Campbell was the creator this time, providing a wonderful through ball for Urena, who had only been on the field for about 90 seconds, to run onto, with the striker sliding the ball perfectly past the advancing Muslera to stun Uruguay, the 2010 World Cup semifinalists and reigning Copa America champions.