Good morning, and welcome to today’s live-blog of Japan vs Costa Rica. After a sensational performance against in their previous fixture, Japan are looking to make it two wins from two in group E. Today, they take on a Costa Rica side who were humiliated in their first match against a strong Spain team. Japan come into this match after a very impressive, shock comeback win over one of the tournament’s favourites in Germany. A win today could send Japan to the knockout stages depending on the result of Spain vs Germany. Kai Bailey will taking you through the action as it happens.
0′ Costa Rica kick off the match
1′ Japan look to start fast, winning an early corner which is cleared well by Costa Rica.
4′ Early on this match is looking like it could be a scrappy encounter with quite a few free kicks already . Joel Campbell’s delivery has not been good enough to test Japan.
9′ Both teams matching each other well in the early stages, with most possession in the centre of the pitch. Japan starting to control the tempo of play.Embed from Getty Images
12′ Former Arsenal-man Campbell is looking like the most dangerous Costa Rican player sparking all presses.
13′ Ritsu Doan beats Bryan Oviedo and fires a cross along the six-yard box which no-one gambled upon.
16′ Daichi Kamada attempts to thread a ball through the Costa Rican defence to the overlapping Miki Yamane however it is just overhit and goes out for a goal kick.Embed from Getty Images
22′ The Costa Rica five at the back is causing Japan problems early on as they struggle for chances.
27′ Very few chances so far both teams matching each other. Might take subs to spark life into this game similar to what happened against Germany.
31′ Keysher Fuller wins a free kick in a promising area after using his body well to shield the ball from the on rushing Yuto Nagatomo. However the free kick is poor and causes no problems.
34 ‘ Just three shots so far in this match with neither keeper being forced into a save.Embed from Getty Images
38′ Japan growing in this match but still lacking final product. Yuki Soma just danced majestically through a few defenders but his final pass was poor.
41′ A poor late challenge from Anthony Contreras brings the first yellow card of the match.
43′ The first yellow is quickly followed by another this time Yamane is booked for a reckless challenge into Campbells back.
45 ‘ One minute added which is surprising for this world cup but this match has had little to no action.
HALF TIME : JAPAN 0 – 0 COSTA RICA
SUB : Takuma Asano (ON) – Ayase Ueda (OFF) , Nagatomo (OFF) – Hiroki Ito (ON)
45′ Japan kick off the second half.
46′ Japan instantly come flying out of the blocks forcing Keylor Navas into a save from Morita.
48′ It looks like Japan have done the same as what they did against Germany moving into a 3 at the back and its already having better effects.Embed from Getty Images
Will it be another tactical masterclass by Hajime Moriyasu?
57′ Soma looks to cut in from the right and curl the ball into the top corner. He lacks some end quality as the ball flies high and wide.
Celso Borges picks up a yellow for hacking down a player on the edge of the box
SUB : Karou Mitoma (ON) – Yamane (OFF)
62: Free kick in a dangerous area here. Doan and Soma over the ball…. Soma strikes high and wide
SUBS: Gerson Torres (OFF) – Brandon Aguilera (ON) , Contreras (OFF) – Jewison Bennette(ON)
SUB: Doan (OFF) – Junya Ito (ONEmbed from Getty Images
68′ Japan dominating the ball and chances and look like the most likely to score. However could Costa Rica cause a shock??
Calvo is booked for a tactical pull back on J.Ito
70′ J.Ito looks like he was surely gonna get a shot off on goal until he was pulled back by Calvo. Free kick on the edge of the box . Struck by Kamada but blocked by a strong Costa Rican Wall.Embed from Getty Images
76′ Entering the final 15 minutes which Japan did their best work against Germany in.
81′ GOALLL! Against all odds Costa Rica have scored! Fuller curls the ball just past the outstretched arms of Gonda. Heartbroken Japansese hearts. Gonda’s positioning has to be questioned
SUB: Soma(OFF) – Minamino(ON)Embed from Getty Images
Kou Itakura is booked for a cynical foul.
88′ Mitoma’s wonderful feet gets the ball the the by line where it is cut back and fired back in by Kamada. Before pinballing eventually into Navas’ grateful hands.
SUB: Borges(OFF) – Youstin Salas(ON)
90: Six Minutes added on can Japan rescue a point?
Endo is booked for a poor challenge
94: Japan dominating but still cannot create a massive chance.
SUB: Campbell(OFF) – Daniel Chacon(ON)
95: Japan have a late free kick in a promising area. Minamino to take it is now or never… does not beat the first man . Epotimising up Japan’s performance.
FULL TIME – Japan 0 – 1 Costa Rica
In true world cup fashion we witnessed another shock today as Japan were beaten by a resolute Costa Rica side. Costa Rica only had one shot on target but took their chance well to salvage hope to reach the knockouts from the depths of despair. Japan will feel hard done by after dominating 95% of the match but they were not good enough in front of goal to expect anything more from the game. This result leaves the possibility of having all four sides on three points going into the last game making it truly, winner takes all!