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England: Third time unlucky?

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England are set to face surprise package Costa Rica today. With the Three Lions already out and the Los Ticos having qualified for the round of 16. Oh Ming Xuan and Derek Wong (tnp@sph.com.sg ) ask fans what they are expecting


Q: England are out of the knockout stage of the World Cup, what next for the fans?

A: We're really upset and confused, because we don't know who to support now. It's really hard for us Englishmen to look at the bright side, especially with the English rugby union and cricket teams doing badly too.

Q: Should Wayne Rooney be dropped?

A: He should be played as a central attacking midfielder instead of the left wing, or be dropped. However, it is true that Raheem Sterling did really well in that position, he showed more fight and motivation than Rooney.

Q: Would English fans be having a pint in celebration after the match, or will they be drowning their sorrows?

A: We will be having a few beers while watching the match. But most of us will definitely be drowning our sorrows in beer anyway, because it is very painful for us to exit the World Cup after just three hours of football.

Q: Joe Hart and Rooney were quick to apologise for the exit. Do they really have to, or is it just a British thing?

A: It's a British thing, but the team is under a lot of media pressure as well. Rooney, especially, had to apologise after his corner against Italy. We (the British Club football team) tried very hard to recreate that corner during the weekend, but it's really beyond our skills. Hart seems more interested in his hairstyle than playing well, so it's good they apologised. Maybe Gerrard should have apologised too, he's the captain after all.

Q: Jose Mourinho has expressed interest in taking the England job. Yay or nay?

A: That's a really big yay from me. Many don't like him, but I actually do like Mourinho, he's a maverick and an extrovert. I would rather England win the World Cup with someone like him than a quiet English manager who tries his best but still loses in the end.

Q: Prediction?

A: 2-2


Q: Costa Rica have qualified for the next round faster than favourites like Brazil, Argentina or Germany. How surprised are you by the Ticos' performance?

A: The combination of two wins in a row is a surprise, but Costa Rica did the same 24 years ago in Italy. I have been positive and confident that we could play a good role at this World Cup, but nobody expected us to be first in the group. We expected to go to the next round, but not in such a manner.

Q: What is their formula for success?

A: Discipline, dedication and sacrifice. And a positive mindset.

Q: How far do you think Costa Rica can go in this tournament?

A: It depends on who the next team will be, but anything can happen. Our goal is to go beyond the next round to exceed what we achieved 24 years ago.

Q: The English defence has been porous. Do you fancy Costa Rica making it three wins out of three?

A: It is very likely. England are gone and did not perform well at the World Cup. We should win. We are relaxed as this is not a decisive game and there is no pressure. We have a positive mood going into it.

Q: Goalkeeper Keylor Navas has had an incredible season at Levante and a great World Cup so far. Do you think he will be able to stop England's front four?

A: He can. He's a very disciplined guy with great experience in Europe. He's not afraid of England or any other team.

Q: Prediction?

A: 1-0 to Costa Rica.