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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Costa Rica v England, World Cup 2014: as it happened

Costa Rica v England, World Cup 2014: as it happened

Costa Rica vs England World Cup 2014: Latest news updates, score and result, with our live minute-by-minute match report of the Group D game at Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte, on Tuesday June 24, 2014, kick-off 17.00 (BST)
Costa Rica
Costa Rica0 - 0England
      Estadio Mineirão
      Costa Rica vs England, World Cup 2014, live
      All white: Joel Campbell and Ross Barkley have experienced differing fortunes in Brazil Photo: GETTY IMAGES


      FULL TIME: England have a point at the World Cup. A reasonable effort this afternoon, a draw probably a fair result in a poor game. England had their moments going forward but lacked composure. Daniel Sturridge had two excellent chances to win it - the sort of chances that a top class international forward would have buried, as we have learned to our cost in this World Cup. At the back, England looked a bit naive and positionally weak, but they tried hard and Ben Foster made some important stops to ensure that we earn a draw against a better side. England's "planning for the future" ended with Gerrard and Lampard in the centre of the park, hoofing balls into the box and hoping that Rooney could get on the end of one of them. So that was nice.
      Roy Hodgson: "We dominated it completely and we showed what a good side we are today. Something for the fans to cheer about in terms of the performance" Well, there you have it. you cheering? I'm not cheering.
      Costa Rica secure the point they need to top the group. What a splendid effort from them, they absolutely deserved to win the group and they carry our very wishes into the next round.
      As for England, desperately limited as usual, still deluding themselves that if we can just, just do xyz, then it will all be alright. We will never learn. It will never end. Just let it wash over you and be done.
      That's about all we've got time for. England are out, on with the football. Thanks for reading and all your emails. Cheers.

      Here's the Fraud Squad at the final whistle
      Here are a few of your emails that we didn't get a chance to post earlier:
      E-mailJohn Fenwick: "Who said we are any good at pop music?" Now hang on just a minute, John. How many Costa Ricans would get in the top 40? Eh? Eh?
      E-mailJamie Willoughby says: "I think it's harsh to say that Costa Rica are a better side– on the basis of that 90 minutes we were clearly the better team – more movement, more chances, better football." Disagree, Jamie, personally. As does the table, no?
      92 mins: Lungbusting run down the right from Phil Jones but he gets in a muddle and the ball pings off his shin and it's out for a goalkick and can we have the final whistle now please? We can.
      90 mins: Gerrard with a corner and Cahill with a decent header. Costa Rica break though, England are exposed here. Good tracking back and tackle from the 1billion pound Luke Shaw, and disaster is averted.
      89 mins: Just a couple of minutes left and Costa Rica will have the point that will give them top spot in their group. They absolutely deserve to top the group, they have been the best team in it.
      85 mins: Literally nothing happening in this game at the moment. I'd go follow the end of Italy v Uruguay if I were you. A rousing chorus of "The referee's a w***ker" from the England fans. Rooney is fouled and captain marvel Steven Gerrard is going to have a go from the freekick. He tries to, and fails to, find Rooney with the kick. So this is how England's World Cup ends.
      84 mins: Bolanos outwits Jones but Phil uses his strength and speed to get in between the player and the ball and draws a foul.
      82 mins: Anyway, one football match at a time Alan. I get so greedy at the World Cup. To be fair nothing much has happened in the England v Costa Rica game for a bit. Clive Tyldesley relays that info about Suarez, says the match is on ITV4 and jokes "bye bye everybody". Heh. Nice one.
      81 mins: England play it around at the back. Meanwhile Godin has scored for Uruguay.
       Michael Owen: "These close games are the ones we rarely win. Mental strength is required now in the final stages."
      78 mins: Rooney, my unkind sneering aside, has just gone close with a clever chop. The goalie backpeddling. Never mind all this though, it sounds like Suarez has bitten an Italian.
      Here's Evan Fanning on our other blog: "78 min: Chiellini and Suarez should both be off. Suarez has thrown his head at the Italian who responds by swinging an elbow at Suarez's face. He may have knocked out his tooth. Chiellini seems to be claiming he was bitten by Suarez!!"
      76 mins: And here comes Wazza. On for Milner, who looks to be exhausted. With Wayne on, there's no way these Costa Ricans will be able to handle England. Some of these losers don't even play in the English Premier League. Wayne's in a Nike advert. What have these nobodies every advertised? Eh? Eh?
      75 mins: But the old magic's still there as Stevie G finds Lamps with a corner but the Chelsea legend heads the Liverpool legend's ball some way over the bar.
      72 mins: England have had their moments but Costa Rica are a better side and they're starting to get on top. Some neat interplay around the England area. Wilshere is coming off and Gerrard is coming on. Brilliantly, fittingly, pathetically, England's World Cup ends with Gerrard and Lampard together in the centre of midfield as England plan for the future. Kiran Kulkarni writes:
      E-mailRoy Hodgson may be a good manager but I wouldn't rate him as a master tactician. His selection policy seemed to be objectionable.
      Leaving out Ashley Cole, Carrick & to some extent Defoe has backfired. What surprises me more is his belief in Welbeck who has been an abject failure both at United & for England.
      Gerrard assisted Chelsea, Man City & Uruguay & an argument as suggested in an article in Telegraph by Henry Winter that this is due to the fact that Gerrard was not given a break in November cannot be bought.
      If November breaks have any impact on the World Cup in June, then Lampard could have offered more on the pitch since he got plenty of rest thanks to Mourinho.
      Lampard, who has been a prolific midfielder in Europe over the years deserved a place on the pitch & not on the bench. Gerrard shouldn't have been guaranteed that midfield position either.
      There are many other things that can be discussed & corrected but the English Football apologists will not think beyond Manaus, humidity, temperature, promise of Raheem Sterling & of course the favorite scapegoat Rooney, England's best footballer by a country mile..
      As Telegraph's Football expert, would you like to provide your thoughts on my assessment?
      70 mins: Sterling loses the ball but does good work to track back and tackle Gamboa. Bit lucky actually, I don't think he got the ball. Corner. Good gather from Foster.
      68 mins: Sturridge, the wretch, dives in the area as he runs with Gonzalez but fails to win a penalty.
       Here's Michael Owen on that Sturridge miss: "Owen: "Agony seeing us go so close! Great play. Sturridge does everything right with that chance, just sets it out a foot too much outside the post."
      65 mins: Joel Campbell off, Urena on. Robert Stewart:
      E-mailGroup of Death? Group of duff more like.
      64 mins: Really nice one-two between Sturridge and Wilshere on the edge of the box, classy play, Sturridge is sent through and has his second excellent chance of the match. Shoots wide. Andy Townsend, take it away "AT THIS LEVEL, CLIVE..." and you can fill in the rest for yourselves.
      63 min: So long, Lalalalalalana. Hello Raheem Sterling.
       Michael Owen: "Good substitution getting Sterling on. England needed that injection of pace. Speed kills."
      62 mins: England give it away cheaply, Bolandos surges forward and cracks a hard shot at goal. Foster saves the day again. Keeper has been England's best player, pretty much.
      60 mins: Barkley running at pace at the CRC defence, Gonzalez upends him with a hard one. Yellow card. Lampard hits the free into the wall and an England player is blown up for a foul. Paul Barrett seems like a cheerful cove:
      E-mailEngland was once again a disappointment in the end. On the positive side, 207 countries attempted to qualify for a trip to Brazil. Of those 207, only 32 got the invite in the mail. England is still in the top 15% of footballing nations. Are we going to win a title anytime soon? No, but at least we made it to the big dance, unlike some other nations (Scotland)...
      59 mins: Bolandos comes on for Brenes. Bolandos plays for Copenhagen. They're not even in the Premiership. What a loser.
      58 mins: Super break from England down the left, Lallana latches onto a good ball and that's a good low cross, top work from the keeper to cut that out.
      57 mins: Blah blah youth blah blah experience of being in a World Cup blah blah.
      55 mins: Barkley has fouled Gamboa twice in as many minutes and the second time the ref's had enough of him dragging back the impressive, attacking right wing back. Barkley booked.
      52 mins: All England in the first few minutes of the second half, ball and territory for Barkley and Lallana among others. Some nice play but not quite the killer ball as yet.
      48 mins: Gamboa's fouled Lalalalallana. England freekick. Into the box. Shaw with a shot and it ricochets by luck to become an inadvertently brilliant through-ball to Sturridge. This is the chance! He's got time and space. Ah, but the first touch is that of the ole cement mixer. High foot as he slides in and he's absolutely clattered the keeper. Looked a sore one but Navas in nets seems to be okay. Philip Podolsky
      E-mailIsn't patriotism the time-honoured preserve of young men of sub-average IQs?
      Scoundrels, isn't it? And you can't be thick and be a scoundrel. Not for long anyway. Evan Dunn meanwhile is anonyed with the selection
      E-mailWhy Lampard? Hodgson is a freekin eejit!! And Milner, Mr Utility? Let the youth have it's day in the sun for goodness sake
      47 mins: Erm sorry missed the first couple of minutes there because I was thinking about Frank Lamapard, who looked to have turned his ankle. That could have affected his pension plan couldn't it? He looks ok.
      18.02 There's a delay while we wait for the teams in Natal to come out, both matches have to start together: collusion, etc etc. I've got lots of friends from Italy and, as with Spanish pals, there does seem to be a lot of hanging around and waiting for every last person of your 15-person group to show up before you go do something. Maybe it was the Uruguyans though. Anyway. Onward.
      18.01 Please Sir can I have some more?
      18.00 Here's Paul Hayward's Team of the Tournament so far
      17.58 Woah! Reader Sam Pollard is getting serious on this shambolic England side. Hit it, Sam.
      Long-suspecting England’s failure is down to inadequate technique I have been counting unforced technical errors in that first half. Incredibly there were 19. Almost one every 2 minutes. These include passes, control and shots.
      Lampard bad pass out of play between two team-mates
      Smalling wild slice out of play
      Cahill / Foster miscommunication – Cahill heads ball and concedes throw in
      Wilshere attempts relatively simple chipped through ball and massively overhits it to keeper
      Lampard gets Wilshere’s pass stuck under his feet in promising territory
      Cahill misplaces a simple pass to Milner with the promise of a break
      Milner fails to control a fired in pass
      Milner miscontrols
      Lallana miscontrols Shaw’s fired in pass
      Barkley dribbles straight into opponent with good chance of break
      Barkley massively overhits a pass
      Smalling plays a mediocre pass into Milner, which Milner miscontrols
      Smalling slices and overhits a pass with his left foot
      Sturridge misses target with a free header
      Lampard overhits a long pass
      Foster kicks ball out of play under no pressure
      Milner miscontrols in good position
      Milner loses ball in good position
      Lampard hits free kick straight into keeper’s arms
      17.52 First goal wins I'd think. I'd be inclined to change the rules to "next goal wins" and we can call it a day. Evan Fanning, blogging the Italy v Uruguay match says "it's one of the worst games of football I have ever seen." So do go check that out!
       Michael Owen: "Ben Foster is looking confident. He has come for a couple of tough balls and clung on well."
      HALF TIME: Decent effort from the Group D whipping boys, who have caused their techincally superior and better organised opponents one or two problems, but look to be a bit exposed defensively at this level. Not a great game and 0-0 a fair reflection.
      45 mins: Campbell back in the left-back position doing some defending and THAT'S A reAL cenNTRe ForWARDs TACklE Eh AL!!! !LOL as he fouls Lallana. That gives England a position in a dangerous area. They can't use it. Costa Rica's keeper belts it 70 yards down the field, Everybody Do The Luis Suarez Dance as Cahill makes a hash of the clearnance, Brenes could be in here but he's lost control and with that let-off, it is half time.
      43 mins: Smalling has fouled Campbell, didn't look much in it to me, but freekick it is. CRC offside.
      41 mins: Useful play from Wilshere as he finds Barkley, who does a good jinky run and lashes a shot wide, he was off-balance as he hit it.
      38 mins: Decent spell for England but here come CRC... Gamboa their wing back down the right with a strong run, useful cross but Ben Foster, who has been excellent so far, gathers. Christian Swain reminds us that there is always someone worse of than ourselves.
      E-mailAll those years of England supporters laughing their heads off at Scotland....."Can't even get past the first round, ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.......oh eck!"
      36 mins: Wilshere and Lampard contrive to free Milner down the left, good run from him and a decent cross as well.
       Michael Owen: "Not a penalty on Sturridge for me. If anything, the defender got in front of Sturridge."
      34 mins: England have a couple more corners and eventually Phil Jones connects with a good header back across the goal, Danny Sturridge gets up and heads it over.
      32 mins: England have a corner. Cahill and Duarte have a handbags.
      30 mins: Costa Rica turning it on. Acorbatic flick from Campbell and now a Zidane-esque spin-and-turn from Ruiz to mug off Wilshere. "Where were you when you were playing for Fulham?" says Clive Tyldesley. And there's the nut: how come England players are not as good for their country as they are for their clubs, yet players from dozens of other countries worldwide perform better. Answers on a £100,000-a-week payslip to the FA, Soho Square.
      29 mins: Wilshere runs into a crowd of Ricans and loses it.
       Michael Owen: "Campbell keeps finding pockets ether side of Lampard and neither of our centre halves want to commit and vacate their position. That is probably wise but they need to communicate to Lampard much better. There is a problem there."
      25 mins: England doing okay. They look like what they are, i.e. a third-rate international side with nervy and limited defenders and one or two talented but raw sorts going forward. Barkley nods it on, Sturridge with a fine chance but he is bundled over by Duarte in the box.
       Michael Owen: "Sturridge looks sharp. Still hungry for goals which is good to see. Pretty clear what the Costa Rica game-plan is. They defend in numbers and break quick."
      23 mins: Superb freekick from Celso Borges! Up and over the wall, loads of bend on it, and it draws a first-rate save out of Ben Foster, who leaps full length to tip it onto the bar. A corner is cleared, ish, and begats another corner. Foster gets up well to gather.
      22 mins: Joel Campbell with a powerful run through the centre with the ball at his feet. England defenders surround him. One of them's going to bring him down, just a question of which one. Ah, it's Lallana.
      20 mins: Lampard fouls Luiz. Pretty much just shoved him to the ground.
      19 mins: Shaw, good ball to Lampard, but he gets it stuck under his feet. On the subject of Lampard...
       Michael Owen: "Interesting decision to make Lampard the deepest-lying midfielder. Never had him down as a sitter! Not what his game has been about over the years."
      17 mins: Sturridge tries a volley from distance, he had seen that the keeper was a bit off his line.
      15 mins: England, knowing that their tournament is getting down to the nitty-gritty, have raised their game and are performing quite well. Wilshere's playing some 'almost' through balls.
      12 mins: Decent run from Wilshere, he slips it inside to Sturridge and he's been given far too much space by the CRC defence... Picks his spot... just wide.
      10 mins: Ruiz with a good ball to Brenes, who is clear through! But ruled offside. Incorrectly, I would suggest on replay evidence.
      9 mins: Shaw to Wilshere, good turn, but then Jack decides to have a bit of a lie down on the edge of the penalty area. England will have to up their game if they want to con the ref.
      7 mins: Jones tackles Junior Diaz but the ref reckons his foot was too high. Freekick played easily into the arms of the keeper.
      6 mins: Wilshere has hurt his back. Foster calls for the ball but Cahill either ignores him or does not hear him and nips in. He slices his clearance badly.
      4 mins: Costa Riiiiica switch the play well and Junior Diaz has taken up a good position down the left, he will be annoyed with himself not to have done better with the cross.
      2 mins: Joel Campbell with the game's first shot, a left-footed effort that deflects off Gary Cahill. Not too wide either. the deflection, not Gary's batty. That is a fair size.
      1 mins: Nice bit of early passing in the Costa Rican midfield. Passing it around well and making England chase it.
      17.00 The mighty Costa Rica kick off.
      16.59 And here are the teams in text form...
      Costa Rica: Navas, Gamboa, Duarte, Gonzalez, Miller, Diaz, Ruiz, Borges, Tejeda, Brenes, Campbell. Subs: Pemberton, Acosta, Umana, Bolanos, Myrie, Barrantes, Francis, Granados, Calvo, Urena, Cubero, Cambronero.
      England: Foster, Jones, Smalling, Cahill, Shaw, Lampard, Wilshere, Milner, Barkley, Lallana, Sturridge. Subs: Hart, Johnson, Gerrard, Jagielka, Rooney, Welbeck, Henderson, Lambert, Sterling, Baines, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Forster.
      Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (Algeria)
      16.58 And here's England's. All the players singing along. Crowd and band badly out of sync. Fittingly I suppose. Simon Kent addresses the big issue of the day:
      E-mailThe Sex Pistols are far better than the Clash who are wayyyyyy over rated! And The Stranglers are better than them both!
      16.56 Time for the anthems. The Costa Rican first, sung with gusto by players and fans alike. And a rousing cheer at the end. The Costa Rican team look relaxed and ready.
      16.55 The players come out onto the Belo Horizonte pitch.
      16.51 Lee Dixon says it will be 3-2 to England. Ian Wright 2-1 England. Glenn Hoddle thinks it'll be a draw. Ollie Govett with a much more interesting prediction question:
      E-mailWho will be the 1st premier league club to rashly buy a player who has played well so far this world cup but is actually rubbish over 38 games week in and week out, away at Burnley in November for example...would you prefer to see a hardened PL player milner who has been unused this summer or your world cup summer signing from Costa Rica who has been great in 2 games being nobbled on the touchline by a crazed stud wearing, zero tolerance for hair gel English fullback ..surely we will be seeing Mexicans and Chileans next season in the PL?
      Hasn't that Aussie lad up front signed for Fulham? But yes. There's always fun to be had with the holiday romance style signing.
      16.49 Michael Owen will be giving us his expert insights into the match throughout.
       "Can understand why Hodgson has given the fringe players their chance. I felt Barkley should have been in the side from day one, and while it was right to play Leighton Baines against Italy and Uruguay, there is a real opportunity for Luke Shaw to underline his credentials with an eye on the Euros. I'm not entirely sure why Frank Lampard is playing, with all due respect to him, as that does not quite tally with looking to the future. Anyway, let's hope for at least one promising victory from this World Cup. The least we expect is a straw to clutch as we plan for the next qualifying campaign."
      16.46 We haven't tried everything, says Andrew Tyler:
      E-mailEverything ? I don't think so. How do you motivate a bunch of young men with sub-average IQ and a lot of money? Patriotism itself is clearly not a sufficient motivator. How about everyone on the squad gets one year of income totally tax free for every game they win? Or a free holiday in Pyongyang for first round elimination? Motivation is the key , you just have to find the right tool.
      Kelly Garcia is on the same tip: "Tell them they only get paid if they win each match…"
      16.45 Anyway. Ian Wright "would go the patriotic route." Oh for pity's sake. I didn't catch what exactly that route would be. Does it matter? Rage rage rage calm calm. And now an email from Alison Ramage:
      E-mailGreetings! Can you just clarify the following: England are definitely out. Costa Rica are definitely through. Whoever wins Uruguay and Italy will be through. What if Uruguay Italy is a draw? Are there any other permutations I haven't thought of. Given that England (country of birth) and Spain (country of adoption) are out, I'm looking for a team to support. Italy is first choice.
      Hey Alison. So many to choose from! Colombia? Cost Rica? Brazil? I'm enjoying the USA myself. Anyway. Yeah you've thought of all the permutations as far as I can see. If it's a draw, Italy go through because they have a better goal difference than Uruguay. If England were to beat Costa Rica and/or there is a heavy defeat in the Italy v Uruguay match, then Costa Rica might be knocked off top spot on goal difference. Capice?
      16.40 The following video, which contains swearing so don't click on it if you don't like swearing, to me is the most accurate represntation in art (it's not about football in any way) of the England football team at tournaments. The fury. The disappointment. The lurking menace. The nihilism. The strange thrilling glory of the misery.
      16.35 And we have tried everything. Believe me, we have tried everything. Young players, old players, foreign coach, domestic coach, long ball, passing football. It's always the same. Something happens when English players play for England rather than their clubs and nobody really knows what it is. Nobody. Anyone with a blazer or a reporter's notebook or a blog who tells you different is a liar or a fool.
      16.30 Will England ever learn? I can't ever see it myself. The Premier League is just too good a product, too big an earner for anyone to ever change all the things that would need to be changed. In six weeks time everyone will be going giddy mental over Liverpool v Man City or whatever and all this will be like a bad dream, until the next tournament, when we will again be outraged and upset that Gerrard, or Wilshere, or Barkley or whoever is the currenty world class Premier League star du jour is proven to be not quite as good as whatever foreign player it happens to be that time.
      Until England start picking the best team rather than the best 11 players, it will always be like this. And that can never happen, because we have the Premier League. And these guys are the stars of the Premier League, so they must be good. Never mind form, suitability, interplay, tiredness. These guys are stars. How many stars have Costa Rica got? None. So we must be better. Stands to reason. Except, of course, it doesn't.
      16.20 And here's a look at the Costa Rica side.
      16.14 Glenn Hoddle makes the point that, if Frank Lampard is retiring or going to go play in America, which to Glenn is effectively retiring, then he should not be in the side. Planning for the future and all that. Seems a reasonable point to me. Talking of England managers, here's Mark Evans:
      E-mailThe stupidity of Hodgson is staggering, he reminds me of the late Peter Cook's hilarious parody of an England Manager on the Clive Anderson show, the 3 m's motivation motivation motivation and the dare to fail concept.
      Hodgson is the Cook parody and Gerrard needs a good dose of Prozac, this sorry state of affairs points to the charismatic David Beckham, who would continue as a role model to young players and fans.
      Someone needs to speak to posh spice to convince him to do it and Hodgson should be fired forthwith.
      DB is a global brand and that kind of glamour is what England need right now and into the Euros.
      Can't see why Beckham would want the job I have to say. He's not as daft as he looks, bless him. That Peter Cook thing was brilliant, you're right.
      It looks a lonely job alright. Poor Mister Roy.
      16.11 That England team as released last night was correct but perhaps a slightly different formation than we thought.
      16.07 I wonder what it is like, being an England football star. Say you're Steven Gerrard. Captain of Liverpool. 600 million people worldwide idolising you. Playing every week in front of adoring fans. Told constantly by the people around you and in the press that you are a great, a legend, a world class midfielder. And then you keep going to these tournaments, and you keep getting shown up by players "who wouldn't get in the England team" or "wouldn't get in a Premier League side." And how do you respond to that? It must be so baffling. Tournament after tournament, getting your bottom handed to you by players you've only half heard of. It must rock your sense of self, of what you have acheived. Wouldn't it? Or do you just go "oh well, that was an off-day.. .we didn't get the rub of the green...ref stitched us up" etc etc. I'm not saying he's not a good player or a good person. I'm saying that the gulf between self-image and reality must send you slightly mad.
      16.05 Frank Lampard there, on the telly, smiling. DISGUSTING. How can he smile when fans have paid all this money to travel around the world and dress as Saint George? he should be asham-- Nah. I can't do it. Seriously, it's not even worth being annoyed about England. They can't help themselves. It will always, always be like this.
      16.00 Here, Henry Winter has done a hangout. They're all the rage, aren't they? The young, with their hangouts. Hanging out. What is it? It's like an online chatroom, but without the connotations of Dungeons and Dragons and 46-year-old men pretending to be teenage girls, as I understand it. You can have a look at it here.
      England and Everton supporter Peter McPartland (@ped7) talks to Henry Wintrer about Ross Barkley, Wayne Rooney and why the national team lacks the passion and drive to succeed in major tournaments. "Dump everyone over 30," he says. "Even Leighton Baines..."
      Our Holland columnist Elko Born (@Elko_B) joins the debate too..
      15.55 Not seen the official teams as yet this afternoon but as we understand it Roy will send out these brave men and true and it will all go a little something like this.
      15.50 And here are some England fans, dressed as Saint George. Wow. That takes some stones. Still, I gues if you've paid for the costume you might as well get your money's worth. One thing is for sure, the tournament will be poorer without us. The off-licences of Brazil will be poorer without us.
      15.45 Folk are arriving at the ground. This headgear looks good. Is that a snorkel? I hope it is a snorkel.
      15.35 Before we get to the grim business of discussing England, let's take a moment to celebrate Costa Rica's performances so far. Just been a delight to watch, like so many other teams in this tournament that aren't England, frankly. Exciting forward players, good movement, animated-verging-on-bonkers manager, they seem to play without fear and they work as a unit, making them more than the sum of their parts. What an international football team should be, basically.
      15.25 To England's Costa Rican opponents we say:
      "Buenas tardes, felicidades y mucha suerte para las pruebas más duras por delante."
      (Good afternoon, congratulations and good luck for tougher tests ahead)
      although I did use a Well Known Online Automated Translator for that so if I've inadvertently called someone a horrible name or dropped some sort of clanger then apologies.
      On the subject of things being lost in translation I'd also like to say sorry to the few Costa Rican folks who got in touch because they were upset that I'd given their national anthem a poor, albeit tongue-in-cheek, write-up in this Ranking of the World Cup National Anthems. One might reasonably have expected that describing it as "brooding, intense, like listening to Radiohead or Roy Keane" and awarding it "five thumbs up" would have flagged up to the average reader that the ranking of the anthems was not meant entirely seriously but there you have it.
      I should not have called it dull and uninspiring, or at least I should have qualified it by saying "to these English ears". Costa Rican chums: if you're happy with your national anthem, we're happy for you.
      We English do like our little jokes, and if you had to support the England football team, then you would develop a sense of humour too, believe me. No offence intended to the Costa Rican national anthem or people and I hope that draws a line under the matter. The only final point to make about it is to draw your attention to this magnificent tweet I received on the subject from one Pablo Diaz.
      Anyhow, sorry.
      15.20 Afternoon all. So here we are then. We had low expectations for England in the World Cup and boy have they met them in style. For those of you not familiar with England's progress in the tournament, we envy you, but the long and short of it is that England are already out, by dint of having lost to Italy and Uruguay.
      Those teams play at the same time as this match, and the delightful Mr Evan Fanning will be live blogging that over here. England of course play Costa Rica, who have already qualified and will top the group if they get a point or better. However, if England were to somehow beat Costa Rica, then the CONCACAF side could very well still finish top on goal difference. Costa Rica's GD is currently plus three, while Italy's is zero and Uruguay's is minus one.
      England have come to the end of the road already. It is almost time for them to fly to Miami/Marbella/Ibiza for their well-earned summer holidays, but before that they have one more match to play against so-called minnows Costa Rica. You know, the side that have already booked their place in the knockout stage.
      Alan Tyers will be with you for all the pre-match build-up this afternoon. Until then have a read of the match preview below and study England's starting line-up.
      England team: Foster, Jones, Smalling, Cahill, Shaw, Lampard, Lallana, Barkley, Wilshere, Milner, Sturridge
      Roy Hodgson has challenged Ross Barkley and Jack Wilshere to prove England have a bright future ahead of them after their World Cup shambles.
      Having been eliminated last Friday after two straight defeats, England's final Group D match against Costa Rica on Tuesday is nothing but a dead rubber.
      Hodgson admits the realisation that he had led England to their fastest World Cup exit had thrown him into "a realm of despair".
      That despair will only increase on Tuesday if England are defeated by Costa Rica who despite holding a 100 per cent record in Brazil, sit below Scotland in the FIFA rankings.
      Barkley, 20, and 22-year-old Wilshere will start in the centre of midfield in the Estadio Mineirao. The duo have just 12 starts between them, but they are likely to be part of the England's re-building process, particularly if Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard retire from international duty after the Costa Rica game.
      "I'm looking for them to show their talent," the England manager said. "Both of them are very good passers of the ball, very good at running with the ball.
      "Both, for young players, have good vision for the game. That will improve the more games they play, but they're well advanced for their age.
      "This is a chance for them to show they are good players. They have an opportunity to play from the start, and together in a game with other young players around them.
      "They can show the faith and hope we have that those boys are ready to make their mark. This could be the first moment they give us an inkling that we are on the right track."
      For more details about today's game, have a read of John Ley's Costa Rica vs England match preview.
      And here's some footage from 1990 when Los Ticos took good care of Scotland...
      More World Cup

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