Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suárez says they weren’t dead after being beaten by Spain in their World Cup opener and were still very much alive after Sunday’s last-second victory over Japan rice field.
Costa Rica dashed Japan’s hopes of advancing to the last 16 by celebrating his surprise 1-0 victory in Group E at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.
“I have to thank and thank the players for what they have done to get this result,” Suarez said at a press conference. “We had to face many challenges, but I was determined to give my country 100% so that I could play well against an opponent like Japan. Yes, we beat Japan, but I have to stress that we beat this Japanese national team. They have played very well in this World Cup and it has to be appreciated. ”
Redemption of Costa Rica
The door was opened for Japan to secure their place in the knockout rounds after a historic opener victory over Germany on the same day that Costa Rica collapsed. However, Keisher Fuller’s shot in the 81st minute shocked Japan with Costa Rica’s first on-target shot of the tournament. Costa Rican players and fans alike went crazy when Fuller’s left foot crawled over the net.
Luis Fernando Suárez’s side held their defense solid after a 7-0 win over Spain in the opening match, and kept their opponents in check when temperatures climbed above 30 degrees in the early afternoon.
However, Costa Rica made Japan pay the price for failing to capitalize on their offensive advantage when Keesher Fuller fired the team’s first shot past Shuichi Gonda (81) into the tournament goal.
Japan came from behind with her 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Germany and was able to beat Costa Rica, who was beaten by Spain 7-0 in the opener. “He wasn’t dead yesterday, he’s alive today,” Suarez said. “We have to think about the next game on Thursday. “We have to play under the same pressure (against Germany) as in the last two games, but we are alive and no one can forget us. We can still dream.”
But beating Japan doesn’t mean the pain of a bad start will go away completely. “I knew what happened against Spain,” he continued.
“I can’t tell you what happened in the dressing room, but we were very aware of the situation. It was very painful for each of us. Imagine coming to the World Cup and losing that way. Please, it’s not something you get used to easily. I worked a lot harder than usual the last few days to win today.”
Costa Rica’s fate will be decided in the final group match, which should be decisive for Germany as well. “Basically, I think today we have to focus on getting ready for Thursday’s game and making sure the players are training as well as possible,” Suarez said. “This is an important step. ‘ said. “The transition to the next stage depends only on us. It’s a big effort on our part. But as long as we try, we’ll be there.”
After a shock victory over Germany last time, a cheerful-looking Japan burst out of their blocks and took an immediate lead over Costa Rica. They quickly controlled the pace of the game.
Japan’s Doan Ritsu teased his ball across the box from the right and found the back of the net with one touch. On the other side, an impromptu shot from former Arsenal striker Joel Campbell went well over the bar.
Earlier in the tournament, Costa Rica was demolished by Spain with 0-7 where as Japan registered their maiden triumph in this tournament against the mighty Germany with 2-1.