When Costa Rica takes on Japan on Sunday, Luis Fernando Suarez will be hoping his direct approach pays off.
Among the standout results of the early World Cup games was Spain’s 7-0 demolition of Costa Rica.
In that match, Costa Rica conceded more goals than they had in their previous eight games combined. In addition, they didn’t have a single shot against Spain today, just the second time since 1966 that a team has failed to score in a World Cup match, following Costa Rica against Brazil in 1990.
Another Group E game saw Japan shock Germany with a 2-1 victory.
Japan has never beaten Costa Rica, losing three of their previous four meetings.
Suarez offered a simple solution to his side’s defeat against Spain.
In his remarks to reporters, he said: “I’ll have to be very direct – we made a lot of mistakes, and I think we all need to be very clear about our mistakes, starting with myself.”
It’s important to forget about the result after we’ve done all this. We’re going to face a lot of challenges. There are, however, players who are good enough to play in a different way.
Our performance needs to be greatly improved. It is important for us to take responsibility and accept the blame, but also to focus on positive results and to forget about [the Spain] defeat.
Despite underperforming against Spain, Suarez felt the result was a harsh reflection of his team’s performance.
There was no doubt that Spain were the better team. There were a few things that didn’t go as expected in this game,” he said.
There was a difference of seven goals between them and the other team, but they were still much better.
The Japanese are looking to win back-to-back World Cup matches for the first time since 2002 (versus Russia and Tunisia), having never won both of their first two matches in a single tournament.
Japan’s victory on Sunday could propel them through to the last 16, should Germany lose to Spain.
Japan Vs. Costa Rica Match Prediction
There is no doubt that Japan have had a great record against Los Ticos and they will be looking to extend that record with a win in this match as well. This was their first match in the World Cup and they should be in a good position to continue their winning ways here at the World Cup.
By winning here, Japan would be able to secure a place in the knockout round, and they have the incentive to perform at their peak level in order to avoid having to face Spain on the final day of the tournament for their knockout hopes.
There will be no doubt that Costa Rica is looking forward to rebounding from last week’s 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Spain at home, and will be looking to do so with a vengeance here. Despite our expectation for them to perform better than in their campaign opener, given their poor record against Japan in the past, we do believe the Asian team can eke out a narrow victory in this match.
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Japan Vs. Costa Rica Lineups
- Y. Soma
- D. Kamada
- R. Doan
- W. Endo
- H. Mortia
- K. Itakura
- M. Yoshida
- Y. Nagatomo
- S. Gonda
Costa Rica Lineups
- K. Navas
- F. Calvo
- K. Waston
- Q. Duarte
- B. Oviedo
- Y. Tejeda
- C. Borges
- K. Fuller
- J. Campbell
- G. Torres
- A. Contreras