MetroStars Brenes lifts Costa Rica into the quarterfinals at Athens 2004

MetroStars midfielder Pablo Brenes' goal and assist vs. Portugal Wednesday earned his national team a trip to the quarterfinals at Athens 2004. Costa Rica was faced with a must-win situation heading into their match against heavily favored Portugal, but the "Ticos" came up with a surprising 4-2 result to move into the quarterfinals where they will face Argentina on Saturday.

Prior to Wednesday's match, Costa Rica had been held scoreless in previous games versus Morocco and Iraq. The "Ticos" played to a 0-0 scoreless tie versus Morocco and the Boys from Baghdad surprised them with a 2-0 victory earlier in the tournament.

Portugal relinquished a lead twice Wednesday en route to the Costa Rican victory. The Portugese led the match 1-0 heading into the half, but an own goal and three second-half goals by Costa Rica doomed the favored squad. MetroStars midfielder Pablo Brenes assisted on Alvaro Saborio's game-winning goal in the 71st minute before putting the match away in second-half stoppage time with an insurance goal.

Brenes was an integral part in helping Costa Rica reach the Olympics. He played in each one of Costa Rica's nine qualifying games, scoring one goal in a 15-0 victory over Belize on September 15, 2003. The MetroStars acquired Brenes on June 4, 2004, as a Transitional International, using a Discovery pick.

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