Japan’s coach Hajime Moriyasu believes they still have a chance of beating former champions Spain and advancing to the last 16 of the World Cup, despite a crushing seven-goal loss to Costa Rica in the opening match.
The four-time Asian champions, who beat Germany 2-1 in their opening Group E game, missed a golden opportunity to advance to the next stage with the rest of the game on Sunday as the first goal scored. Scored a goal at the World Cup in Qatar. Japan was sluggish, static, and stiffened to prevent further goals from conceding 5 as if they had no idea how to beat a Costa Rican team that relied on their backs.
Moriyasu was reluctant to take advantage of the abundant attacking opportunities on the bench. “We want to beat Spain and that’s what we have to focus on. It’s going to be a very intense match against Spain next time. We need to improve our odds for Japan.” Moriyasu added.
Japan faces difficult challenges
Japan have been World Cup regulars since her debut in 1998, reaching the last 16 three times, more than any other team in Asia. Samurai Blue can still qualify for the next round, but he may have to pull off one more heroic feat against Spain on Thursday. Moriyasu said he would take a different approach against Spain and analyze what happens in Sunday’s Group E clash with Germany.
“Of course we will come up with a different game plan, a different tactic, and of course we will try to win the next game,” he said. “Spain are a strong team, but he always had three games in mind.
“We have a lot of respect for them. Spain is a young team, but I think we have a good chance of winning.
Costa Rica shattered their hopes of advancing to the last 16 of the World Cup with a surprise 1-0 victory in Group E on Sunday.
Keisha Fuller’s 81st-minute shot, the first on goal in Costa Rica’s disastrous game, stunned the Japanese fans at the stadium and opened the group up.
Combined with Japan’s historic win over Germany in the opening match and Costa Rica’s 7-0 victory over Spain, Japan were able to advance to the last 16 with this one game remaining.
Both goalkeepers were redundant and the only incidents admissible as an altercation were a cross from Japan’s Doanritsu flashed over the goal and a shot over the bar from Costa Rica’s Joel Campbell. Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu eliminated defender Yuto Nagatomo at halftime and replaced him with attacking Takuma Asano.
Japan looked more dangerous just after half-time when Hidemasa Morita tested Keeler Navas’ sharp shot, but the Costa Rican keeper avoided it.
They confronted the fans and began to take the initiative, with Moriyasu switching attacks again, replacing right-back Miki Yamane with midfielder Kaoru Mitoma.
Japan had camped in the Costa Rican half, and it looked like it was only a matter of time before their pressure would pay off, but a rare break prevented them from clearing and Fuller was able to be played by keeper Shuichi Gonda. Japan, who performed well in their opener victory over Germany, dominated most of the game and would have taken the lead several times had it not been for the Costa Rican side’s determined defense.
Costa Rica endured patiently, waiting for the hit moment that came in the 81st minute when Japan failed to properly clear the line. Midfielder Yeltsin Tejeda pounced on the loose ball and set up full-back Keisher Fuller. That left-footed shot blocked a Japanese defender and fended off keeper Shuichi Gonda.
Keylor Navas, under a solid bar, Costa Rica weathered a tense moment before securing the first points of the tournament.