The Ahmad bin Ali Stadium erupted for 2 causes when Keysher Fuller’s 14-yard strike proved too excessive for goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda. These of the Costa Rican persuasion had been delighted to see not solely the winner but additionally their nation’s first shot heading in the right direction in Qatar 2022 after Luis Fernando Suárez’s facet blanked Spain 7-0.
It means Group E is huge open as Germany go into Sunday night time’s recreation in opposition to Spain as the one nation with zero factors and but this result’s a transparent bounce for them as they face Costa Rica final.
For the purpose, Hidemasa Morita was Japan’s first perpetrator, feeding the ball to Yeltsin Tejeda, who discovered Fuller – though Gonda was the second Samurai Blue man responsible as he was flat-footed. In a late run, Japan appealed for a penalty for a Bryan Oviedo handball after Daichi Kamada’s shot however to no avail.
A glad Suárez mentioned: “We’re alive, that is the primary factor. No one can say we’re out but – we are able to nonetheless dream. This is not about ways, it is about ardour; the extra stress we’ve got, the extra we are able to show ourselves. Yesterday we had been useless—now we’re alive.”
Hajime Moriyasu’s facet should regroup after their seismic victory over Germany and the coach was requested if his facet might shock the World Cup a second time by beating Spain.
“We’re going for the win,” he mentioned. “We’ve got crushed Germany however that does not imply we are able to win in opposition to Spain. These international locations are World Cup title holders, so we’ve got lots of respect for them. However we received a recreation in opposition to Germany. Spain shall be powerful however there’s a good likelihood for us to win. So we are going to put together and go to the subsequent recreation with confidence.
“Spain shall be a really intense recreation. We simply want to extend the chances for Japan. That is how I made a decision the ways [for today]. The consequence did not work however we tried and I feel that is what Japan wanted.”
His technique was the identical as in opposition to Germany – wait to hit Costa Rica with quick breaks. The issue was that this was additionally Costa Rica’s tactic and thus a static affair ensued after the falsest of false dawns as Morita and Yuki Soma claimed an early nook between them. The latter swung this in, Ayase Ueda missed the header and a shaky Costa Rica escaped.
Extra encouraging for Costa Rica was a burst from 120-goal Joel Campbell who was awarded a free-kick, though Celso Borge’s supply was picked out of the air by Gonda, Japan’s man of the match in opposition to Germany.
Japan gave Costa Rica one other scare when Ritsu Doan, whose equalizer in opposition to Germany gave him a begin, flashed the ball over Keylor Nava’s purpose however no teammate was current.
From right here, the standard dipped in a troublesome midfield distance, illustrated by the variety of pictures heading in the right direction at 0-0 on the interval, with neither group in a position to take the initiative. When Francisco Calvo and Campbell took goal they had been sloppy efforts, so it fell into the ‘small mercies’ division that solely a minute of time was added by the referee, Michael Oliver, to the opening 45.
For the second half, Moriyasu determined that Yuto Nagatomo and Ueda had contributed sufficient and took them off for Hiroki Ito and Takuma Asano, the latter the scorer of the memorable winner that defeated Germany.
Twenty-seven seconds in and an actual shot was saved by Navas: Morita was the participant who lastly discovered the goal and the reminiscence was revived by how good Japan had been after half-time in opposition to the four-time world champions.
Nevertheless, the way of a Campbell dribble, during which he engineered a route straight out of contact with little stress on him, instructed his nation may not be any higher. The previous Arsenal ahead’s subsequent entry within the competitors guide was to balloon out a 40-yard diagonal free-kick and, when Wataru Endo was introduced down, Soma did the identical from the sting of the Costa Rica space.
Moments later, in an nearly similar spot, Calvo introduced down Junya Ito, solely on instead, and this time Kamada was wasteful and hammered the ball straight into the wall.
Subsequent got here Fuller’s decisive intervention. This was definitely not a match to recollect however the standings imply that every of the final two matches shall be dwell, which might make for an thrilling end.
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