Qatar 2022 World Cup, Japan-Costa Rica 0-1

Fuller extends the Japanese, all open in Group E

Costa Rica beat Japan 1-0 in the match valid for the second day of Group E of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. The American selection prevailed with Fuller’s goal, scored in the 81st minute, and was back in the running for qualification in the round of 16. The two national teams are tied on 3 points in the group that includes Spain (3) and Germany (0), engaged in direct confrontation tonight.

The verdict at Al Rayyan’s Ahmad bin Ali stadium matures at the end of a match that offers practically nothing in the first half and which partially lights up in the second half. The first 45 minutes are a concentration of mistakes: we don’t see any action worthy of note, the goalkeepers watch amidst the yawns of the public, little involved in the soporific rhythms. Japan tries to accelerate at the start of the second half and with Morita calls Keylor Navas to save: the goalkeeper gets away with an intervention with an open hand.

The Japanese try to break through centrally with quick combinations and get 2 free-kicks from the edge: tempting chances, however wasted with conclusions that don’t hit the target. Costa Rica tends to defend itself, almost uninterested in the offensive phase. In the 81st minute, however, the surprise. Japan superficially manages a disengagement in their own trocar and loses the ball, Costa Rica is ‘forced’ to attack. Fuller, served on the edge of the area, pens a soft left foot that surprises Gonda: the Japan goalkeeper just grazes, ball into the net and 1-0. The Asian selection shakes up and tries to straighten the situation in extremis. Time would be there, lucidity not: the Japanese only create a scrum in the Navas area, too little to avoid the knockout.