Al Rayyan: Costa Rica put an enormous dent in Japan’s hopes of reaching the World Cup final 16 as they recovered from their hammering by Spain to assert a shock 1-0 victory in Group E on Sunday.
Keysher Fuller’s 81st-minute effort, Costa Rica’s first shot on course in a dreary sport, surprised the drum-beating Japanese followers within the stadium and left the group vast open.
Costa Rica’s Keysher Fuller reacts after scoring the aim. Photograph: FIFA World Cup/Twitter
Japan’s historic victory over Germany of their opener coupled with Costa Rica’s 7-0 drubbing by Spain cleared the way in which for Japan to achieve the final 16 with a sport to spare.
However a much-changed line-up didn’t spark and their hopes of reaching the knockout stage for a fourth time at the moment are left hanging within the stability with their ultimate sport towards Spain.
Costa Rica, written off earlier than kickoff, at the moment are degree on three factors with Japan and have an opportunity to achieve the final 16.
Heavyweights Spain and Germany play later.
Costa Rica’s Anthony Contreras in motion with Japan’s Yuto Nagatomo REUTERS/Issei Kato
A primary-half of mind-numbing tedium even examined the persistence of the drum-banging Japanese followers massed of their blue shirts at one finish of the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
Other than a two-minute burst at the beginning of the sport by Japan, the remainder of the opening half was performed at snail’s tempo.
For Costa Rica the dearth of goalmouth motion was in all probability most welcome seeing as they conceded thrice within the opening half an hour towards Spain.
Each goalkeepers had been redundant and the one incidents that would cross as goalmouth motion was a cross by Japan’s Ritsu Doan that flashed throughout the aim and a scooped shot excessive over the crossbar by Costa Rica ahead Joel Campbell.
Japan’s coach Hajime Moriyasu took off defender Yuto Nagatomo at halftime and changed him with attacker Takuma Asano who was surprisingly left on the bench regardless of scoring the winner towards Germany.
Japan’s Ritsu Doan was rewarded with a begin within the Costa Rica sport after his beautiful aim towards Germany. Twitter/@FIFA World Cup
Instantly after the break Japan appeared extra threatening with Hidemasa Morita lastly testing Keylor Navas with a stinging drive the Costa Rica keeper turned away.
Kicking in the direction of their followers, Japan started to grab management and Moriyasu made one other attacking change with midfielder Kaoru Mitoma approaching for proper again Miki Yamane.
Japan had been camped in Costa Rica’s half however and it appeared solely a matter of time earlier than their stress would repay however in a uncommon break, Japan didn’t clear and Fuller curled a shot which keeper Shuichi Gonda couldn’t hold out.