After suffering a 7-0 loss at the hands of Spain, Costa Rica has improved its record with a victory. Even managing to keep the game in the opponent’s backyard, Japan’s offensive performance was promising.
Since the outset, Japan had a 66% chance of victory. Group E’s top slot goes to the United States with its unexpected 2-1 victory against Germany. Costa Rica, still reeling from its 7-0 loss to Spain, wanted to concentrate on 5-for defense, with Oviedo to Fuller stretching Ueda’s attack.
Costa Rica appeared to be under pressure. There is a history to be discussed, though. Four times before, Costa Rica and Japan have competed head-to-head. Results have been favorable for Japan, with only a single draw. The remaining three events resulted in victory for the team that defeated the four-time World Cup champions.
In the 7th minute of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 fixture between Japan and Costa Rica, Japan was exposed with the intention of holding on to possession at midfield. Endo and Morita displayed their brilliant skills. Ueda remained in attacking mode from the beginning with no loss of momentum.
Watson, Duarte, and Calvo had to fight from the penalty zone till the 31st minute. Field formations were reshaped for both. Japan entered with a record of 4-2-3-1, while Costa Rica entered with a record of 3-4-2-1.
No wonder Gonda has had the fewest touches so far in the tournament. In the previous match against Germany, Ueda, Yoshida, and their teammates put up a fight. There was no shift in momentum in this match.
Japan remained on the move to make it look like the game was only in the other half. Fans showed discipline when they cleaned the seating area last time. Call it a valid transfer, as their stars seemed to have absorbed that energy for the reflection of on-field discipline.
Contreras earned a yellow card in the 41st minute for taking down Yoshida with a touch on the leg. The pause affected Costa Rica by breaking its accelerated drive. Yamane also received a yellow card for clashing with Campbell. Described as a hard one, the yellow card simply could not be avoided.
Even with the extra point, Costa Rica was only able to gain 58% of the possession. In the first half, five shots were fired, none of which were on target. Japan spun the game despite having 42% possession in the first half.
Navas blocked two shots in the first five minutes of the second half when Japan attacked. The opponent’s response to Japan’s corner only made things worse.
Reds scored in the final 10 minutes. Tejeda helped Fuller score. Gonda almost missed the ball that soared higher in response to the gentle nudge. Japan retaliated in the last 3 minutes for 90. Navas blocked the direct shot.
Six over 90 minutes brought no result. Costa Rica wrote history on Fuller’s back. Next up is a match between Japan and Spain. Costa Rica will face Germany, which is trying to advance.