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Japan vs Costa Rica, FIFA World Cup 2022 Highlights: Late Fuller strike keeps Los Ticos hopes alive

Costa Ricas Keysher Fuller celebrates after scoring the winner against Japan in FIFA World Cup 2022

Al Rayyan (Qatar), November 27: Late goal from Keysher Fuller helped Costa Rica edge Japan 1-0 in FIFA World Cup 2022 Group E clash at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan on Sunday (November 27).

Bouncing back from a 0-7 thrashing against Spain in the group stage opener, Costa Rica downed Japan, who stunned Germany in their opening match, to keep the knock out round qualification scenario open.

After a disappointing first half and in the contest that looked set to become the sixth stalemate of the tournament so far, there was something to cheer when Fuller curled a shot into the top-left corner with nine minutes remaining to break the deadlock.

FIFA World Cup 2022 Results | Points Table | Fixtures

Japan had largely been the better side, particularly in the second half, but Costa Rica took the lead with their first shot on target of the tournament.

The result leaves both teams on three points heading into the final games, with Germany now in with a chance of progressing to the knockout stage with a win against Costa Rica in their final game whatever their result against Spain later on Sunday (November 27).

The only real moment of note in a tentative first half came when Ritsu Doan fizzed a low ball across the six-yard box from the right, but there were no Japan players on hand to get on the end of it.

Takuma Asano came on at half-time and the change nearly yielded an immediate impact as his touch to Hidemasa Morita 25 seconds into the second period led to the latter having the first shot on target of the contest, with Keylor Navas diving to his left to palm it away.

Japan showed more intent to go and win the game in the second half, with Yuki Soma first cutting inside from the left and firing high and wide, before putting a free-kick from the edge of the box over the bar.

The surprise moment came in the 81st minute though as a poor Japan clearance saw the ball come to Yeltsin Tejeda, who played in Fuller to shoot, with Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda getting stuck under the ball and failing to keep it out.

What's next in Group E after Japan vs Costa Rica?

Germany and Spain face off later in the day, before the final round of fixtures where Costa Rica face Germany, while Japan meet Spain on December 1.

(With OPTA inputs)

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Story first published: Sunday, November 27, 2022, 18:00 [IST]
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