Twitter Reacts to Kostas Mitroglou, Sokratis' Performances vs. Costa Rica

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2014

Greece's Sokratis Papastathopoulos, right, celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Costa Rica and Greece at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Sunday, June 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

Plato might be happy to know that Sokratis wasn't found guilty in this Greek tragedy.

With Greece down a goal late into their round of 16 World Cup match against Costa Rica, Sokratis Papastathopoulos fired home an equalizer to make it 1-1, sending the game into extra time. Greece eventually lost in the penalty shootout, however, 5-3.    

Before the goal, Costa Rica had been playing for 25 minutes down a man after Oscar Duarte's sending-off in the 66th minute. Los Ticos spent the majority of that time dropping deep and hoping their previously stout defense wouldn't be breached.

Earlier in the day, the Netherlands scored two goals in a span of six minutes to beat Mexico, 2-1. The key takeaway from that match is that fortunes can change in the blink of an eye. It only takes a split second for a match to completely turn on its head.

And that's exactly what happened on Sunday night as Papastathopoulos scored in the 91st minute to hand Greece a massive lifeline. It was the latest an equalizer has ever been scored in the round of 16, per ESPN Stats & Info:

You can see the goal below, per Bleacher Report UK:

Before the goal, scoring chances were at a premium for Greece, and the biggest reason was because they failed to get over the top of the Costa Rican defense. Fox Soccer's Kyle McCarthy found it coincidental that the Greeks scored on what was the first time they connected with a vertical ball in a dangerous area:

Even before the goal, Papastathopoulos was one of Greece's best players. He was constantly working to repel Costa Rica's most dangerous attacks, per FourFourTwo:

Papastathopoulos picked the perfect time to score for his team but the worst time to score in terms of his personal life. According to ESPN FC, his wedding was scheduled for the same day as what could've been Greece's quarterfinal matchup with the Netherlands:

Kostas Mitroglou nearly won the match two minutes later but had his header saved by Keylor Navas. Greek Football wondered if a Netherlands-level comeback was in the cards:

Since moving to Fulham in January, Mitroglou went from in-form striker scoring a goal a game to somebody who couldn't even crack the subs' bench at Craven Cottage. The 26-year-old has become a bit of a running joke as a result.

The Guardian's Jacob Steinberg joked that the header was the first time anybody had caught a real glimpse of Mitroglou in months:

That was his best moment of the match.

Into extra time, Greece had a five-on-two breakaway, and the ball was at Mitroglou's feet. Keeping with his poor luck/complete loss of confidence, he passed it to Lazaros Christodoulopoulos in a position where the Greek midfielder had almost no chance of scoring.

The Intercept's Andrew Jerell Jones was less than complimentary of Mitroglou's pass:

Devang Desai of The Score and FourFourTwo's Huw Davies eviscerated the Fulham striker's performance as a whole:

Mitroglou had another chance to win the match in the 121st minute, but his close-range shot was again saved by Navas.

He did nail his penalty kick in the final shootout, thus avoiding what would have been a personal trifecta of disappointment.

Greece as a whole will look back on this match asking "What if?" and Mitroglou won't be immune from that. He had two golden chances to win the match and failed to find the back of the net.