SALVADOR, Brazil -- Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto has hailed Keylor Navas as the best goalkeeper of the World Cup and has praised his team’s performances following the quarterfinal defeat to Netherlands on Saturday.
Navas kept Costa Rica in the match against the Oranje with a string of fine saves before Pinto’s side was defeated on penalties after the Dutch brought on Tim Krul as a surprise substitute to save two spot kicks.
Pinto spoke of his pride in the Costa Rica players and picked out Levante stopper Navas for special praise during his post-match press conference in Salvador.
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"I think Navas has been the best goalkeeper in this World Cup,” Pinto said. "We're happy. We're proud. Of course, we're hurting because penalties are tough. But we've won ourselves [in that manner], so penalties, you have to accept them.
"I told my players that I was very proud of them and that the whole country is proud of them. We have given everything on the field.
“We came here having to play against huge countries - Italy, England, Netherlands - and we played them at their level. So we have to be proud of that."
Pinto, though, criticized the standard of refereeing during the World Cup and claimed Costa Rica should have had at least one penalty in the second half when Joel Campbell went down under a challenge from Netherlands defender Bruno Martins Indi.
"We had a penalty [not given] against Italy that was clear, we had a penalty [not given] against Greece, and we should have had two today, so the refereeing has not been very good.
“I think that many people agree with us. There have been huge mistakes, mistake that shouldn't happen, so I think FIFA should study this.
“I respect all of the referees here but there have been big mistakes here, I'm sorry to say."