Former Arsenal man Joel Campbell helped Costa Rica book their place at November’s World Cup in Qatar as they beat Recent Zealand 1-0 of their closely-contested high-stakes play-off. Ticos have appeared at three of the last 4 tournaments having previously featured in Germany (2006), Brazil (2014) and Russia (2018).
Now they’ve more memories to savour after successfully battling past the Kiwis on the Al Rayyan Stadium.
It took Costa Rica just three minutes to make the breakthrough when Campbell timed his run to perfection to get on the top of a low cut-back.
The previous Gunner, who now plays his football in Mexico with Monterrey, guided the ball home with help from a small deflection.
He was on the right track for Costa Rica of their 2014 World Cup opener against Uruguay before helping Ticos reach the quarter-finals, where they were eventually beaten on penalties by the Netherlands.
READ MORE: Arsenal agree on ‘top two transfer targets’ with recent contacts over second deal anticipated
The Kiwis couldn’t discover a way through and have now lost three straight World Cup play-offs after previously featuring in South Africa in 2010.
Costa Rica will join Spain, Japan and Germany in Group E in Qatar.
Their campaign will get underway on November 23 once they face Spain on the Al Thumama Stadium.
Next up in Japan 4 days later in Al Rayyan before their third and final group match against Germany on December 1 in Al Khor.
Qatar 2022 World Cup full line-up
Group A – Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
Group B – England, Iran, USA, Wales
Group C – Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
Group D – France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
Group E – Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
Group F – Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
Group G – Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
Group H – Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea