Lech Poznan midfielder Bartosz Bosacki scored his team’s only two goals of the tournament to secure a comeback victory for the Poles against a Costa Rican side who will go home without a World Cup Finals win.
After trailing early the Poles hit back in the 33rd minute through a volleyed goal by Bosacki from a Maciej Zurawski corner when midfielder Euzebiusz Smolarek appeared to clip the foot of advancing Los Ticos keeper Porras, sending him to the ground.
The Costa Ricans appealed to Singaporean referee Shamsul Maidin, who handed out a total of ten yellow cards for the match, but the goal stood and Pawel Janas’ team were on the board for the first time in the tournament.
In the 57th minute former Nuremberg player Bosacki out-jumped Paulo Wanchope at the far post to score his second goal of the match, the midfielder’s downward header from a Jacek Krzynowek cross beating Costa Rican keeper Jose Porras.
In the 82nd minute Wanchope thought he had the equaliser, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Earlier, Costa Rican forward Ronald Gomez opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a low free kick that skewed around the Polish wall and then slipped through the legs of keeper Artur Boruc.
Costa Rica celebrate their opening
Polish captain Jacek Bak had brought down striker Wanchope just outside the box, receiving a yellow card for the challenge and giving Gomez the chance to score the opener.
Poland looked the better team in the early stages with good movement and good passing, but ultimately leading to very few shots while for Costa Rica, Gomez and Wanchope proved to be a handful for the Europeans’ defence.
That marks the end of the tournament for these two teams, and they will have to wait another four years for the chance of World Cup glory in South Africa.