RECIFE, BRAZIL - He thought about God, his son and his family before sending an entire country into pandemonium.
Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas, the only reason the Ticos survived 120 minutes here at Arena Pernambuco Sunday night, made a save in penalty kicks that sent his country into the last eight.
"This is an unbelievable moment," Navas said minutes after stoning Greek striker Theofanis Gekas. "We are grateful to God. He has allowed a dream to become a reality."
After using a gifted stoppage-time penalty in their final group game against the Ivory Coast, the pesky Greeks understand full well how the penalty spot can giveth.
And, of course, how it can taketh away.
Following seven straight makes from the spot, Navas launched to his right to push away Gekas' effort.
Costa Rica's Michael Umana slammed in the next kick to put Costa Rica into the quarterfinals.
"I told my players the confidence we had in them," Costa Rica manager Jorge Luis Pinto said. "We knew before the match who would shoot the penalties.
"(All of Costa Rica) has been with us, for the people rooting for us, we felt all of that."
After going up 1-0 through Bryan Ruiz early in the second half, the Costa Ricans went down a man when Oscar Duarte picked up a second caution for a late challenge just after the hour mark.
"For 65 minutes we were able to control the result and bring it to penalties," Pinto said. "We trusted our strikers and our goalkeeper."
Emphasis on the goalkeeper.
After Sokratis Papastathopoulos pounced on a juicy rebound in stoppage time to push this thing into extra time, Greece continued to have its way with the man-advantage.
In the 113th minute Greece broke out in a 6-on-2 when off a corner, Konstantinos Mitroglou dashed 60 metres the other way only to see Lazaros Christodoulopoulos's tight-angle attempt palmed away by Navas.
The Costa Rican netminder again came to the rescue in the last seconds of stoppage time when a flicked-on header inside the box fell to Mitroglou, whose open look was deflected by Navas wide of the frame.
"He saved three or four (would-be) goals, very good ones," Greece manager Fernando Santos told reporters. "If it weren't for that the result would have been different."
If anyone else was in Costa Rica's net, things would have been different.
It's why Pinto referred to his 27-year-old 'keeper as the best in the world post-game.
A stretch? Maybe. But for one moment Sunday night, eyes around the globe were on him.
"We trusted Navas during the penalties," Pinto said, admitting Costa Rica was playing for spot kicks following the sending off. "He's an extraordinary man."
For the first 45 minutes, this match was anything but extraordinary. It more or less resembled a Simpson's parody.
It was slow, mistake-laden and as a fellow media-type sitting two desks to the left of me quipped, "this is going to be a long night."
Costa Rica and Greece, both surprises just to get to this point, were even booed at times by a Brazilian crowd that expected to see an England, Uruguay or Italy.
Let's put it this way: The beer lines were full well before halftime in Recife.
Some of those seats were still vacant when Ruiz finally brought fans to their feet, the final hour of this match being a much better show.
Receiving a low cross from Christian Bolanos in the 52nd minute, Ruiz's one-timer curled away from Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis and into the side-netting to put the Central Americans up.
That forced Santos to roll away the proverbial Greek bus.
Santos dropped a midfielder for an extra forward in an attempt to find an equalizer that wouldn't arrive until stoppage time.
Just when it looked like 10-man Costa Rica would successfully hold the fort, Papastathopoulos popped up to extend the match off a Navas rebound.
"A long match indeed," I turned to my colleague and said. "But at least this has turned into a good one."
Had Costa Rica, the darlings of this tournament, not shot itself in the foot things might have ended at full-time.
But after Duarte lunged in on Jose Cholevas that certainly picked things up.
It allowed Greece to pour numbers forward without the threat of Costa Rica breaking out the other way -- at the end of regulation and in the extra frames.
"We were putting a lot of pressure on Costa Rica and I think that continued in the extra time," Santos said. "But we didn't use those 30 minutes as well as we should have."
It's something that Greece has struggled with for decades.
It's a side that has never had that player to finish things off -- to produce one moment in a match Greece probably should have won.
"It's a sad moment for us," Santos said. "We wanted to continue making history to make the Greek people happier."
Instead, it's the Costa Ricans that will have a chance to extend their dream run into the record books.
The Central Americans are the first CONCACAF team to make the quarterfinals since the United States ventured there in 2002.
"This is to you," Pinto said, dedicating the win to the Costa Rican people. "We will continue fighting. We're ambitious."
Unfortunately for the Central Americans, the Dutch aren't ambitious, they're expected to make the last four.
Then again, Costa Rica wasn't supposed to be here in the first place.