Keysher Fuller’s Late Strike Condemns Japan to a Shock 1-0 Defeat Against Costa Rica

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Costa Rica kept World Cup round 16 hopes alive after Keysher Fuller struck in the 81st minutes to condemn Japan to a shock 1-0 defeat.

Costa Rica

Starting Lineup

Japan: Shuichi Gonda; Miki Yamane, Maya Yoshida, Ko Itakura, Yuto Nagatomo; Hidemasa Morita, Wataru Endo; Ritsu Doan, Daichi Kamada, Yuki Soma; Ayase Ueda.

Costa Rica: Keylor Navas; Kendall Waston, Francisco Calvo, Oscar Duarte, Bryan Oviedo; Keysher Fuller, Yeltsin Tejeda, Celso Borges, Gerson Torres; Anthony Contreras, Joel Campbell.

Japan went into the game with more confidence after a shock win over 2014 champions Germany, while Costa Rica suffered a heavy 7-0 defeat to Spain in their first group game.

Also, the records favored the Asians; they have not lost their previous four meetings with Costa Rica, winning three and drawing one.

After an action-packed first opening game for both teams, they settled for a rather unimpressive and dour match as the first half began.

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Japan maintained sustained pressure against the Costa Ricans as the game began but could not make it count.

Costa Rica, on the other hand, lacked the impetus to break out of Japan’s pressure to mount any formidable attack on the Japanese defence.

It was a cagey affair between both sides, with no real threat inside each other’s box.

Going forward, Costa Rica gradually began to break through their own half and wrestle for possession in the game.

Costa Rica

They then settled a fair share of the possession as the game turned into a midfield battle with no breakthrough inside each other’s box.

The score still stood at a barren 0-0 draw, as both sides failed to record a single shot on target throughout the first half.

Meanwhile, Costa Rica had a slight advantage with the ball possession, recording 58% percent, while Japan had 42% after the first half.

Japan made a double change to alter the game’s dynamics as the second half began after playing second fiddle to the Costa Ricans throughout the first half.

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The Japanese successfully built an attacking momentum as the game began and dominated processing till the 55th minute when Costa quelled it momentarily after winning a free-kick.

Costa Rica

It was still barren as the regulation time ticked into the 70th minute. Japan had recorded 2 shots on target and were ahead with 54℅ of the ball possession.

Costa Rica were unable to record a single shot on target as they were losing momentum to Japan.

It was a surprise lead for Costa Rica in the 81st minute and their first and only shot on target in the game.

It was Fuller with the goal. Japan had mistakenly lost possession, and Tejeda picked it up and located Fuller on the edge of the Japan box. Fuller then beat Japan’s goalkeeper as he curled it into the back of the net. It was 1-0 for Costa Rica, with fewer minutes left in the game.

The game finally ended with Costa Roca beating the odds to earn a deserved 1-0 World Cup win after a heavy opening defeat against Spain

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