Costa Rica buried predictions of its early demise to emerge into the knockout stages of the World Cup for only the second time with a 1-0 Group D win over Italy on Friday that sent England crashing out.

Forward Bryan Ruiz headed powerfully home a minute before halftime to leave Costa Rica fans dancing in the sunshine at Recife's Pernambuco arena and mocking those who thought it would be the sacrificial lamb in one of the tournament's toughest pools.

The watertight defence and quickfire counter attacks that helped unpick Italy ensures that Costa Rica is going to be a handful for any future opponent, while it could even be a dark horse to go deep into the knockout stages.