World Cup: Costa Rica hero hails nation's efforts as Holland end journey
Last Updated: 06/07/14 11:04am
Keylor Navas lamented Costa Rica's elimination from the World Cup at the quarter-finals stage but believes they have done their nation proud.
Los Ticos had never reached the quarter-final stages of the competition and had gone unbeaten in Brazil before losing 4-3 on penalties to the Netherlands in Salvador.
"We lost everything in a penalty shoot-out and we go home sad but with our heads held high," Navas said to Costa Rica newspaper CRhoy.com. "It's hard but this is life."
Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana saw their spot-kicks saved by substitute goalkeeper Tim Krul while the Dutch converted all of their attempts.
"We cannot blame anyone because to be there at that time is not easy," Navas said. "Our rivals did their job in the penalty shoot -out and we didn't."
Navas was named as FIFA's man of the match for the third time in this tournament after the Levante goalkeeper again came up with a string of good saves to keep his side in the game.
"One just tries to help, to do a good job," the 27-year-old said. "I thank God.
"I always try to make sure that no ball goes in and the posts certainly helped us. Fortunately, Holland didn't score throughout the game."
Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto praised his players.
"We are not a world football power but we have done very important things here," Pinto said. "When it comes to penalties, you have to understand the player, the pressure and the circumstances they are in.
"We did a great job."
Pinto, whose side surprisingly finished ahead of Uruguay, Italy and England in the group stages to progress to the knock-out rounds, admitted the Dutch were the better side.
"We were lucky throughout the game," Pinto said. "Navas was brilliant and spectacular.
"We go home proud of what we have done and I want to express my gratitude to the Brazilian people."