Costa Rica beat New Zealand 1-0 in the final intercontinental playoffs to complete the 32 finalists who will play in this year’s World Cup final in Qatar.
In Doha, Los Ticas took the lead until the final whistle when Campbell scored three minutes later. The former Arsenal player, who is now with Monterrey in Mexico, realized a cross after the excellent work of teenager Juanison Bennett on the left flank.
New Zealand fought back and put a lot of pressure in the first half. Chris Wood, the Newcastle striker, scored in the 39th minute, but VAR equalized after a foul on the rise. An investigation revealed that Matthew Garbett fouled on Oscar Duarte.
The match, which often threatened to boil over, saw Luis Fernando Suarez Costa Rica coach, made three substitutions at the break, including the introduction of veteran captain Brian Ruiz, but New Zealand continued to create much more chances.
But their hopes were severely dashed when Costa Barbarus, a second-half substitution by New Zealand manager Danny Hay, lasted just eight minutes before being fired for a foul on Francisco Calva. As a result of the VAR check, his yellow card turned red. All Whites’ hopes of playing for the third time in a row with Barbarus were dashed World Cup finals.
Instead, Costa Rican fans, who have made most of the noise, will return to Qatar in November. Their team was able to compete in the third consecutive final, reaching the quarterfinals in 2014 and then reaching the group stage in 2018. Keylor Navas, the Costa Rican goalkeeper, made a great save from Clayton Lewis ’long-range efforts. and then a low blow from Wood in the increasingly tense last ten minutes as New Zealand stood camp in the opposition half.
In the end, Costa Rica was able to celebrate the victory and take a place in Group E in the final, where a draw will be played with Spain, Germany and Japan. The playoffs between the fourth-ranked team in the Kankakaf region and the winner of the Oceania Confederation at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium ended the qualifying campaign.