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Japan vs Costa Rica, FIFA World Cup 2022, Today Match Prediction

Al Rayyan, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium

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Vibrant Japan aiming for two wins from two against poor Costa Rica side

  • Japan claimed a shock win over Germany in their opening game of the tournament
  • Their energy, directness and quality took their opponents by surprise
  • Costa Rica were on the end of a thrashing, losing 7-0 to Spain

Japan to win 2-1

Tournament: FIFA World Cup 2022 | Venue: Al Rayyan, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium

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If Saudi Arabia hadn’t shocked the world by beating the mighty Argentina just 24 hours beforehand, Japan’s win over Germany would have surely received with greater publicity.

As it was, it was still one of the best performances of the World Cup so far, with Japan’s intensity impressing from start to finish. 

Japan’s two goals came in a flurry of activity over an eight-minute spell where they turned the game on its head, wiping out the German’s first half lead before scoring what would eventually turn out to be the winner.

On the other end of the spectrum, Costa Rica have proven to be the worst team of the tournament so far, finding themselves on the end of a 7-0 drubbing by a revived Spain. 

The Central Americans were hapless from the first whistle until the last, almost looking as though they had given up by the end. 

It would take a miracle for Costa Rica to quality for the knockout stages now. A win over Japan would be a good start, although you struggle to see how that will happen after their opening showing.

Japan Preview

FIFA Ranking: 24

Predicted Finish: Round of 16

Reasons to be cheerful:

     Thrilling comeback over Germany will have boosted confidence

     Win over Costa Rica will almost ensure their progression

Reasons to be fearful:

     Costa Rica must surely improve from their first game

     Were lucky to be only 1-0 down at half time vs. Germany

All credit must go to Japan for their thrilling comeback win over Germany in their Group E opener. The Germans, however, should have been out of sight before half time.

That they weren’t was down to some fine goalkeeping from their stopper Shuichi Gonda and some wasteful shooting from Hansi Flick’s team.

Japan cannot afford to be quite so open as the competition progresses, especially with Costa Rica now fighting for their lives. We’ve already seen some surprising results in Qatar, and Japan won’t want to be on the end of one here.

The two goals were scored by substitutes Doan and Asano, who may have now worked their way into the manager’s plans from the start against Costa Rica.

Star Man – Takuma Asano

Asano came on just before the hour mark, when the score was still 1-0 to Germany. He scored the winner with real quality and may well be rewarded with a starting spot here.

Costa Rica Preview

FIFA Ranking: 31

Predicted Finish: Group Stage

Reasons to be cheerful

     Surely cannot be as bad as they were against Spain

     Japan’s defence will give them chances in front of goal

Reasons to be fearful

     Their ageing squad looked its age in their defeat to Spain

     Defeat here will see them eliminated from the tournament

In truth, not a great deal was expected from Costa Rica before the tournament began. They were lucky to qualify for the World Cup in the first place and scored less than a goal per game during the process.

However, you still anticipate a more organised and determined performance from a team at the World Cup, regardless of world ranking or underdog status. 

They were simply blown away by Spain, a team that didn’t play with a recognised centre forward for much of the game.

The Costa Ricans looked leggy in attack, sloppy in defence and were passed to death by the technical ability of the Spanish midfielders. 

Against Japan, at least they won’t be playing against a team of such quality. The Japanese defence is not entirely bulletproof and the likes of Joel Campbell and Jewison Bennette should have more of the ball.

It’s a tough ask for them to find the win they need, however.

Star Man – Joel Campbell

Struggled to make an impact against the pure talents of the Spanish side. Against Japan, he should at least have more time on the ball to showcase his own attacking strengths.

     Costa Rica to improve after Spain thrashing

     Both sides to score

     Japan’s intensity to win through

If anything, we should at least see a more even contest between these two teams than we did when Costa Rica took on Spain.

The Central Americans should have used that as a wakeup call to improve here – lose this one and they’re out altogether.

Japan have the confidence of three points on the board. Win again and they are almost through to the Round of 16, although will have Spain still to play in their final game.

Japan to win 2-1

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Author: Ross B.