Japan vs Costa Rica — Preview

Match Preview

These two teams couldn’t have had more contrasting fortunes on Matchday 1. Japan provided a huge surprise in defeating Germany. While it wasn’t anticipated that Costa Rica would seriously trouble Spain, neither were they expected to concede seven without reply. Costa Rica became the first team to fail to register a shot in a World Cup Finals match since Costa Rica themselves, in 1990. Japan has won four and drawn one of their five meetings with Los Ticos, the most recent of which was a 3-0 win in a 2018 friendly.

Both teams played with four at the back in their opening games, Samurai Blue opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation and Costa Rica went with a 4-4-2 line-up. Although they must be tempted to add more defensive solidity given their first-game frailties, Costa Rica realistically needs a win to keep their hopes of progressing alive. Given that only 12.3% of the teams that lost their opening World Cup group game have qualified for the last 16, since 1998, Costa Rica faces an uphill task. A win for Japan would almost certainly be enough to break their cycle of last 16 appearances followed by group exits and ensure that they reach the knockout stages for the fourth time.

People also like

Argentina v France – Match Preview

Croatia v Morocco – Match Preview

France vs Morocco — Preview