Overwhelming favourites Uruguay succumbed to demoralising 3-1 defeat to CONCAF qualifiers Costa Rica.
The scoreline came as the shock of the competition thus far with many expecting Uruguay to continue the winning trend of South American sides, following earlier victories for Brazil, Chile and Colombia.
With Liverpool star Luis Suarez not 100% fit after sustaining an injury prior the the World Cup kick-off, the onus fell on Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani to take on more responsibility in front of goal, but despite the teams dejected performance surely they would have improved were it not for the absence of Suarez.
The game did continue the growing trend of early goals, with Uruguay scoring their first on the night within the first 25 minutes. La Celeste demonstrated their threat from set-pieces twice with a goal chalked off for Diego Godin, before Cavani fired hopelessly wide when the ball popped up invitingly for him.
The warning signs were clear for Costa Rica, so it was no surprise to see a set-piece from Uruguay become the catalyst for their opener in the game.
Diego Forlan's delivery for the set-piece that proceeded this one was a poor, scuffed effort. No complaints for the enticing delivery that would set Uruguay on their way on this occasion, however. Forlan's in-swinging pearler caught out wing back Junior Diaz who was adjudged to impede Diego Lugano in the box, leaving the referee no option but to award the penalty. Cavani dispatched it confidently into the far corner.
Costa Rica stopper Keylor Navas showed why he was one of the most highly-rated number ones in Spain last season, due to his goalkeeping heroics for Levante. The 27-year-old averted a goal-bound and deflected shot by veteran forward Forlan which looked certain to loop over the keeper's head and into the top right corner.
The first-half turned out to be a dour affair with set-pieces the main source of goalmouth action for both sides, with Costa Rica themselves having plenty of reason to feel aggrieved for not earning a penalty. Uruguay unable to really impose themselves on the game with their approach very one-paced, one-dimensional and far too structured.
The second-half painted a whole different picture however, not for Uruguay, but surprisingly for Costa Rica. It took just nine minutes from the interval for the Caribbean nation to equalise and unsurprisingly the goal was converted by the game's star performer; Joel Campbell.
The Arsenal man proved a dangerous prospect for Godin and Lugano from the start, going close with a rasping long-range effort from 25 yards.
On this occasion however, the Gunners' forwaed found the back of the net, connecting well with the bouncing ball and firing comfortably past the onlooking Muslera. The momemtum immediately swung in favour of Costa Rica and from there on out, they caused numerous problems for a ailing Uruguay team.
Oscar Duarte achieved what central defensive teammate Giancarlo Gonzalez could not in three attempts by guiding an accurate Bolanos free-kick beyond a dejected Muslera to make it 2-1.
With the scoreline and result almost finalised, substitute Marcos Urena sealed an outstanding win for Costa Rica by connecting with a precise and pin-point pass from man-of-the-match Joel Campbell.
With the win all but confirmed, Uruguay put another downer on an insipid performance with Maxi Pereira receiving a straight red after kicking out at Joel Campbell in injury time. The later's performance will have surely been a huge boost for Arsene Wenger as Arsenal consider what to do with the player next season.
On such form, he'll be playing - and scoring - in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium.
Uruguay 1-3 Costa Rica - Player Ratings:
XI: Muslera (5), Pereira (3), Lugano (4), Godin (5), Caceres (5), Stuani (4), Arevalo (5), Gargano (5), Rodriguez (6), Forlan (6), Cavani (6)
Subs: Lodeiro (5), Gonzalez (5), Hernandez (4)
XI: Navas (7), Gamboa (6), Duarte (6), Gonzalez (7), Umana (6), Diaz (5), Borges (7), Tejeda (6), Bolanos (7), Ruiz (5), Campbell (8)
Subs: Cubero (5), Urena (6), Barrantes (N/A)
Feel free to offer your verdict on the enthralling Group D encounter in the comments below!
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