Japan will look to try and book their place in the knockout rounds of the World Cup when they meet with Costa Rica in Group E after a sensational win over Germany in their opening game just as Costa Rica were hammered by Spain.
Costa Rica’s loss to Spain was one of the most dominant victories for a team in World Cup group stage history. The nation saw six different goalscorers from Spain across a 7-0 demolition by the Spanish where they had just 18% of the ball. In reality, it could have been a much higher scoreline and there is now very little hope of Costa Rica getting anything out of this game.
A victory for Japan would also likely see them through to the knockout rounds as they would be on six points. On the other hand, if Germany can beat Spain, status in the knockout stages would not be secured, but if Spain can beat Germany and Japan win here, both Japan and Spain would be through into the next round.
Japan went 1-0 down against the four-time world champions in the first half when Ilkay Gundogan scored a penalty. However, a stunning second half display saw Japan score two goals inside seven minutes towards the end of the game.
Ritsu Doan scored the equaliser from close range, but it was Takuma Asano who stole the show with a sensational well-taken goal as he plucked the ball out the air to lash an effort past Manuel Neuer.