Doha, Qatar – Costa Rica have sealed qualification for the World Cup 2022 after a nervy 1-0 win over New Zealand on Tuesday evening at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar.
Joel Campbell’s early goal sent Costa Rica to their third successive World Cup, much to the joy of the estimated 6,000 Costa Rican fans present at the stadium.
Among them was Janella Escobar, 40, who was accompanied by her husband, daughter and son, dressed in festive national colours.
Escobar, a football enthusiast, had travelled from Costa Rica. She said she also went to South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014 for the World Cups but missed out on Russia 2018 as she was pregnant.
Costa Rican couple Grievin Astorga, 45, and Karol Arias, 40, said they knew their team had to be pragmatic to seal the win.
“It’s so good to know we will be back in Qatar later this year,” a jubilant 60-year-old Bernardo Rodrigues, who had flown in from the Costa Rican capital San Jose, told Al Jazeera after the final whistle.
“All night people back home, including our families, will be on the streets,” Rodrigues said while celebrating with several of his friends after the game.
The World Cup 2022 takes place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18.