Costa Rica and Greece came into the World Cup with the worst betting odds to win their respective groups.
However, Costa Rica has been the biggest surprise of the tournament winning the Group of Champions, and the Greeks came in second in their group after an injury-time goal in their last match gave them a win over Nigeria.
Oddsmakers monitored by OddsShark.com had Costa Rica as the slight World Cup betting favorite in this knockout-stage match posted at 3-2 with Greece at 2-1, roughly the same price as the draw line.
Costa Rica is making their first appearance in the round of 16 since 1990.
Los Ticos have played stellar defense so far in the World Cup, allowing a single goal and keeping a clean sheet in their last two matches facing Italy and England. Keylor Navas has been a rock in goal, and the defensive back line and the midfield has been great at thwarting the offensive forays of some talented players.
While Costa Rica only scored four goals in group play, Joel Campbell has been a force at striker. Midfielder Christian Bolanos and wing striker Bryan Ruiz have also played well.
After giving up three goals in their loss to Colombia in their first group match, Greece only conceded one in their last two. Much like Costa Rica, the strength of the squad is their defense.
Greece played more of an attacking style in their last group match, but they needed to score in order to advance. Captain Kostas Katsouranis is back after sitting out the last match due to a suspension, and he is the key for a Greek attack that is less than dynamic.
Greek keeper Orestis Karnezis and attacking midfielder Panagiotis Kone were substituted off in the last match, and each is doubtful for this one due to injury.
This may not be one of the most exciting matches, with two staunch defenses set to play it safe. In that type of match, expect the more talented squad to eventually break through, and that would be Costa Rica.
It would move them closer to paying out as pre-tournament 1,000-1 long shots and they roughly half that number in the latest World Cup future betting list.
Prediction: Costa Rica 1-0 Greece
Stats and odds courtesy of WorldCupOdds.net
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