Fuller goal earns Costa Rica shock win over Japan

Estimated read time 4 min read

Japan failed to take another step towards the World Cup knockout rounds as Keysher Fuller’s late goal earned Costa Rica a smash-and-grab Group E victory.

Following their shock win over Germany, Japan were frustrated by a tight defensive unit, before Fuller struck with Costa Rica’s first shot on target at the tournament.

The result leaves both teams on three points after two games, with Spain – who still top the group on goal difference – facing Germany later on Sunday (19:00 GMT).

Victory for Spain will all but guarantee their progression to the last 16.

After beating Germany in their opener, many expected Japan to account for a Costa Rica side reeling from a 7-0 thrashing by Spain.

However, Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu opted for rotation over continuity, making five changes, and that resulted in a subdued performance and a scoreline that blew the group wide open.

It was a remarkable victory for Costa Rica, who had failed to lay a glove on the Japan defence before Fuller’s deflected shot from the edge of the box escaped goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda’s grasp nine minutes from time.

After a first half devoid of goalmouth action in the searing heat at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Japan dominated for large spells. However, they struggled to create clear-cut chances until the 88th minute, when Daichi Kamada could not turn the ball home after a driving Kaoru Mitoma run.

Having achieved redemption following their humiliation at the hands of Spain, the Costa Rica players celebrated emotionally at full-time as Japan were left to rue a disappointing display that failed to back up their heroics against Germany.

Player of the match

MitomaKaoru Mitoma


  1. Squad number9Player nameMitoma

  2. Squad number5Player nameNagatomo

  3. Squad number4Player nameItakura

  4. Squad number22Player nameYoshida

  5. Squad number8Player nameDoan

  6. Squad number18Player nameAsano

  7. Squad number6Player nameEndo

  8. Squad number15Player nameKamada

  9. Squad number2Player nameYamane

  10. Squad number24Player nameSoma

  11. Squad number10Player nameMinamino

  12. Squad number21Player nameUeda

  13. Squad number13Player nameMorita

  14. Squad number14Player nameIto

  15. Squad number26Player nameIto

  16. Squad number12Player nameGonda

Costa Rica

  1. Squad number9Player nameBennette

  2. Squad number4Player nameFuller

  3. Squad number1Player nameNavas

  4. Squad number17Player nameTejeda

  5. Squad number20Player nameAguilera

  6. Squad number15Player nameCalvo

  7. Squad number5Player nameBorges

  8. Squad number8Player nameOviedo

  9. Squad number12Player nameCampbell

  10. Squad number19Player nameWaston

  11. Squad number6Player nameDuarte

  12. Squad number7Player nameContreras

  13. Squad number14Player nameSalas

  14. Squad number2Player nameChacón

  15. Squad number13Player nameTorres



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 12Gonda
  • 2YamaneBooked at 44minsSubstituted forMitomaat 62′minutes
  • 4ItakuraBooked at 84mins
  • 22Yoshida
  • 5NagatomoSubstituted forItoat 45′minutes
  • 6EndoBooked at 90mins
  • 13Morita
  • 8DoanSubstituted forItoat 67′minutes
  • 15Kamada
  • 24SomaSubstituted forMinaminoat 82′minutes
  • 21UedaSubstituted forAsanoat 45′minutes


  • 1Kawashima
  • 3Taniguchi
  • 7Shibasaki
  • 9Mitoma
  • 10Minamino
  • 11Kubo
  • 14Ito
  • 16Tomiyasu
  • 17Tanaka
  • 18Asano
  • 19H Sakai
  • 20Machino
  • 23Schmidt
  • 25Maeda
  • 26Ito

Costa Rica

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Navas
  • 6Duarte
  • 19Waston
  • 15CalvoBooked at 70mins
  • 4Fuller
  • 5BorgesBooked at 61minsSubstituted forSalasat 89′minutes
  • 17Tejeda
  • 8Oviedo
  • 13TorresSubstituted forAguileraat 65′minutes
  • 12CampbellSubstituted forChacónat 90+5′minutes
  • 7ContrerasBooked at 41minsSubstituted forBennetteat 65′minutes


  • 2Chacón
  • 3Vargas
  • 9Bennette
  • 10Ruiz
  • 11Venegas
  • 14Salas
  • 16Martínez
  • 18Alvarado
  • 20Aguilera
  • 21López
  • 22Matarrita
  • 23Sequeira
  • 24Wilson
  • 25Hernández
  • 26Zamora

Michael Oliver


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