Costa Rica Stuns Japan With Late Goal From Keysher Fuller


There’s no quit in Costa Rica.

Four days after dropping a 7-0 contest against Spain, Los Ticos bounced back and beat Japan thanks to a goal from Keysher Fuller in the 81st minute.

Costa Rica capitalized on its first chance of the second half. Fuller lofted a shot on net, and Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda was unable to prevent it from sneaking in. Fuller first appeared for the Costa Rican national team in 2019 and is now up to three goals in his international career.

Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas shook off a nightmarish day against Spain with a clean sheet against Japan. The 35-year-old came up especially big in the 88th minute when Japan had several chances to score from within 10 yards of the goal line.

Japan got both of its goals against Germany on Wednesday from substitutes, and it got some better chances to start the second half against Costa Rica after making lineup changes at halftime. Takuma Asano, who earned the game-winner in Japan’s opener, came on as a sub once again and had two chances within a few minutes. Still, nobody was able to break through against Navas and the Costa Rican defense.

The win moves Costa Rica into third place in the Group E standings. Spain and Japan also have three points apiece, but Costa Rica trails both based on the goal differential tiebreaker at minus-6 across two matches. Germany, which will face Spain at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, is the only team in the group without a win.

Costa Rica will close out group play against Germany, while Japan still has to play Spain. Both matches will take place at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday.

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