But even with goalie De Vlieger totally out of position, the Manchester City forward inexplicably failed to tap the ball into the empty net.
Five minutes later he volleyed just wide from close range.
In the 15th minute, Ronald Gomez broke free and forced a
great save from De Vlieger with a long-range right-foot
shot and Carlos Castro did likewise a minute later,
underlining Costa Rica's early dominance.
Costa Rica came out strong after the break and substitute
Rolando Fonseca thought he had scored in the 51st minute
but the goal was disallowed for offside.
Three minutes later, a bad backpass from Sven Vermant put
Wanchope clear again, but the forward squandered this
chance too, lifting the ball over goal.
In the dying minutes, De Vlieger pulled off another great
save from substitute Steve Bryce.
Belgium: De Vlieger, Deflandre, Peeters, De Boeck (42 Van Meir) Van Buyten (73 Vanderhaeghe), Van Kerckhoven; Simons, Walem (85 Boffin), Wilmots, Goor, Vermant(57 Mpenza), Verheyen (67 Strupar).
Costa Rica: Lonnis, Castro (80 Vallejos), Wright, Martinez, Wallace (76 Steve Bryce), Centeno, Marin (88,
Juan Rodriguez), Solis, Ropez (46 Fonseca), Wanchope (73 Parks) , Gomez (76 Medford).