England have crashed out of the 2014 World Cup, after Costa Rica pulled off a second successive upset by defeating more-fancied Italy 1.0 on Friday.
The Three Lions fans were hoping for a favour from the Italians, but Costa Rica had other ideas. Anything other than an Azzurri win meant elimination for Roy Hodgson and his Three Lions, but few expected Italy to lose.
For Roy Hodgson’s side, elimination has come at the earliest possible moment in the tournament, with one group game still to play — and this is their worst showing in a World Cup since 1958.
England destroyer, Mario Balotelli, had demanded a kiss from the Queen if he was to score against the Central American side, but he barely got close to pursing his lips’ desire in this stop-start game.
His best chances came in the first half, but Fulham flop, Bryan Ruiz, made no mistake with his header, crashing it over the line via the cross bar to give Costa Rica the lead.
It meant England’s long wait for international silverware will go into its 50th year, as attention turns to the 2016 Euros.
England now face the indignity of playing out a dead-rubber final group game on Tuesday — the first time this has ever happened for an English side at the World Cup.
But for unfancied Costa Rica, the win means they have progressed from the Group of Death, despite never receiving a chance from football pundits even before a ball was kicked.
How wrong they were! And with the Central Americans riding on a high and England down and out, they might even end the group stage with maximum points and England an unprecedented zero.
Italy and Uruguay will fight for the second spot when they meet on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, England boss Roy Hodgson has said he has no plans to resign, despite his side’s very early exit from the tournament.
“I don’t have any intention to resign,” said Hodgson, 66.
“I’ve been really happy with the way the players have responded to the work we’ve done.”