Costa Rica top New Zealand in playoff, clinch final World Cup spot

Costa Rica World Cup celebration

Costa Rica are going to the World Cup after beating New Zealand 1-0 in Tuesday's intercontinental playoff between the sides played in Doha, Qatar that determined the final bid to the international game's biggest stage.

With the result, Los Ticos become the fourth Concacaf team to clinch qualification for Qatar 2022; Canada, Mexico and the United States all also successfully qualified by virtue of their top-three finish in the Octagonal.

The victory secures the third straight successful World Cup qualification for Costa Rica, which will now join Group E along with Spain, Germany and Japan.

Costa Rica got the game-winning goal just three minutes into the contest courtesy of a first-time finish from Joel Campbell. As New Zealand chased an equalizing goal, they were dealt a crucial setback in the 69th minute when Kosta Barbarouses was sent off after Video Review for a challenge on San Jose Earthquakes defender Francisco Calvo.

New Zealand avoided conceding a back-breaking second goal, but their quest for a dramatic leveler proved fruitless against Costa Rica netminder Keylor Navas, who put in a stalwart effort in goal. The All Whites featured Portland Timbers defender Bill Tuiloma in their starting XI.

Costa Rica had finished fourth in Concacaf's qualifying pathway, while New Zealand won Oceania's pathway. Those spots set up Tuesday's win-or-go-home matchup.