World Cup: Fuller strikes late as Costa Rica beat Japan 1-0
DOHA – Japan squandered an opportunity to advance early to the World Cup’s last 16 after right-back Keysher Fuller’s goal 10 minutes from time gave Costa Rica a surprise 1-0 win in a match in which they had barely any chances.
The Samurai Blue failed to ride the momentum of last week’s shock 2-1 win over Germany and will rue missed opportunities after showing little creativity against a Costa Rican side who defended resolutely after their 7-0 drubbing by Spain last week.
Against the run of play, Fuller curled a shot from the edge of the area beyond the reach of goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda and into the net – in Costa Rica’s only effort on target in the entire match – leaving Japan stunned.
Japan battled hard to salvage something from the game but struggled to create space and panicked in the dying moments.
The result left Japan with a tough challenge to advance to the knockout stages, with Spain their final Group E opponents on Thursday. AFP