Navas carries Costa Rica to World Cup quarters

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 29, 2014 at 7:24 pm •  Published: June 29, 2014
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RECIFE, Brazil (AP) — When Costa Rica sealed its first berth in the World Cup quarterfinals, the celebrating Ticos sprinted straight for Keylor Navas and mobbed him in celebration.

Michael Umana had driven home the penalty kick that clinched the 5-3 shootout victory over Greece, but he didn't seem to mind that his teammates streamed right past him.

It was Navas, after all, who made a slew of spectacular saves of blistering shots and point-blank deflections during regulation and extra time, forcing the shootout in which he made the only save, diving right to swat away Theofanis Gekas' attempt.

It was the latest chapter in a remarkable stint for Navas, who has two clean sheets in this World Cup and recently enjoyed one of the best seasons of any goalkeeper in the Spanish league.

"For a long time, I've worked in a very humble way so that I can do things for the benefit of my team, wherever I play," Navas said. "I'm very pleased with all the people who reward my work and give me words of encouragement. I'm very grateful to my family, to my wife's family. I believe that they're all very important in my life."

As the pressure rose against Greece, Navas said he kept thinking of his children.

"That is what I've always tried to do. I try to be a good father, I tried to be a good friend and in such a beautiful sport as football, I always try to have my kids happy so when they grow up, they can look back and they can see a father who did important things for their country," Navas said. "That's what football is all about. Try to make history and the greater, the better."

Navas was credited with a La Liga-best 160 saves for Levante during his most recent club season. He had 16 clean sheets and allowed 39 goals, meaning he stopped a La Liga-best 80.1 percent of the shots he faced.



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