Japan failed to take another step towards the World Cup knockout rounds as Keysher Fuller’s late goal earned Costa Rica a smash-and-grab Group E victory.

Following their shock win over Germany, Japan were frustrated by a tight defensive unit, before Fuller struck with Costa Rica’s first shot on target at the tournament.

The result leaves both teams on three points after two games, with Spain – who still top the group on goal difference – facing Germany later on Sunday (19:00 GMT).

Victory for Spain will all but guarantee their progression to the last 16.

After beating Germany in their opener, many expected Japan to account for a Costa Rica side reeling from a 7-0 thrashing by Spain.

However, Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu opted for rotation over continuity, making five changes, and that resulted in a subdued performance and a scoreline that blew the group wide open.

It was a remarkable victory for Costa Rica, who had failed to lay a glove on the Japan defence before Fuller’s deflected shot from the edge of the box escaped goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda’s grasp nine minutes from time.

After a first half devoid of goalmouth action in the searing heat at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Japan dominated for large spells. However, they struggled to create clear-cut chances until the 88th minute, when Daichi Kamada could not turn the ball home after a driving Kaoru Mitoma run.

Having achieved redemption following their humiliation at the hands of Spain, the Costa Rica players celebrated emotionally at full-time as Japan were left to rue a disappointing display that failed to back up their heroics against Germany.

Player of the match

MitomaKaoru Mitoma

with an average of 7.49


  1. Squad number9Player nameMitoma

    Average rating


  2. Squad number5Player nameNagatomo

    Average rating


  3. Squad number4Player nameItakura

    Average rating


  4. Squad number22Player nameYoshida

    Average rating


  5. Squad number8Player nameDoan

    Average rating


  6. Squad number18Player nameAsano

    Average rating


  7. Squad number6Player nameEndo

    Average rating


  8. Squad number15Player nameKamada

    Average rating


  9. Squad number2Player nameYamane

    Average rating


  10. Squad number24Player nameSoma

    Average rating


  11. Squad number10Player nameMinamino

    Average rating


  12. Squad number21Player nameUeda

    Average rating


  13. Squad number13Player nameMorita

    Average rating


  14. Squad number14Player nameIto

    Average rating


  15. Squad number26Player nameIto

    Average rating


  16. Squad number12Player nameGonda

    Average rating


Costa Rica

  1. Squad number9Player nameBennette

    Average rating


  2. Squad number4Player nameFuller

    Average rating


  3. Squad number1Player nameNavas

    Average rating


  4. Squad number20Player nameAguilera

    Average rating


  5. Squad number17Player nameTejeda

    Average rating


  6. Squad number15Player nameCalvo

    Average rating


  7. Squad number5Player nameBorges

    Average rating


  8. Squad number8Player nameOviedo

    Average rating


  9. Squad number12Player nameCampbell

    Average rating


  10. Squad number19Player nameWaston

    Average rating


  11. Squad number6Player nameDuarte

    Average rating


  12. Squad number7Player nameContreras

    Average rating


  13. Squad number14Player nameSalas

    Average rating


  14. Squad number2Player nameChacón

    Average rating


  15. Squad number13Player nameTorres

    Average rating




Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12Gonda
  • 2YamaneBooked at 44minsSubstituted forMitomaat 62′minutes
  • 4ItakuraBooked at 84mins
  • 22Yoshida
  • 5NagatomoSubstituted forItoat 45′minutes
  • 6EndoBooked at 90mins
  • 13Morita
  • 8DoanSubstituted forItoat 67′minutes
  • 15Kamada
  • 24SomaSubstituted forMinaminoat 82′minutes
  • 21UedaSubstituted forAsanoat 45′minutes


  • 1Kawashima
  • 3Taniguchi
  • 7Shibasaki
  • 9Mitoma
  • 10Minamino
  • 11Kubo
  • 14Ito
  • 16Tomiyasu
  • 17Tanaka
  • 18Asano
  • 19H Sakai
  • 20Machino
  • 23Schmidt
  • 25Maeda
  • 26Ito

Costa Rica

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Navas
  • 6Duarte
  • 19Waston
  • 15CalvoBooked at 70mins
  • 4Fuller
  • 5BorgesBooked at 61minsSubstituted forSalasat 89′minutes
  • 17Tejeda
  • 8Oviedo
  • 13TorresSubstituted forAguileraat 65′minutes
  • 12CampbellSubstituted forChacónat 90+5′minutes
  • 7ContrerasBooked at 41minsSubstituted forBennetteat 65′minutes


  • 2Chacón
  • 3Vargas
  • 9Bennette
  • 10Ruiz
  • 11Venegas
  • 14Salas
  • 16Martínez
  • 18Alvarado
  • 20Aguilera
  • 21López
  • 22Matarrita
  • 23Sequeira
  • 24Wilson
  • 25Hernández
  • 26Zamora

Michael Oliver


Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Japan 0, Costa Rica 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Japan 0, Costa Rica 1.

  3. Junya Ito (Japan) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Foul by Bryan Oviedo (Costa Rica).

  5. Substitution, Costa Rica. Daniel Chacón replaces Joel Campbell.

  6. Foul by Kaoru Mitoma (Japan).

  7. Keysher Fuller (Costa Rica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Wataru Endo (Japan) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Foul by Wataru Endo (Japan).

  10. Yeltsin Tejeda (Costa Rica) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Substitution, Costa Rica. Youstin Salas replaces Celso Borges.

  12. Attempt saved. Daichi Kamada (Japan) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Takuma Asano.

  13. Ko Itakura (Japan) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Foul by Ko Itakura (Japan).

  15. Jewison Bennette (Costa Rica) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Substitution, Japan. Takumi Minamino replaces Yuki Soma.

  17. Goal! Japan 0, Costa Rica 1. Keysher Fuller (Costa Rica) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Yeltsin Tejeda.

  18. Offside, Costa Rica. Brandon Aguilera tries a through ball, but Keysher Fuller is caught offside.

  19. Corner, Japan. Conceded by Óscar Duarte.

  20. Corner, Japan. Conceded by Keysher Fuller.

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