Our prediction for this match:
Japan are continuing their preparations for the AFC Asian Cup in January and this time they are playing Costa Rica at the City Football Stadium in Suita. They have met four time so far with Costa Rica still to beat Japan. Costa Rica didn’t have much of a World Cup, being able to earn just one point in the last group game, against Switzerland. Japan faired slightly better managing to get themselves into the elimination rounds through the fair-play rule, before tragically losing to Belgium in the last 16 round. Still, they need to improve their game as their form in the last 10 matches suggest. They won only twice and had six defeats in total. Costa Rica is in even worse form, recording just two wins in the last 10 matches. However, with both teams still looking for that sweet spot, it might be a tie in the end.
Highlighted Player (Keisuke Honda):
Keisuke Honda is considered one of the most famous Japanese footballers. Honda was born in Settsu, Osaka on June 13, 1986 and he started his youth career at his hometown club Settsu FC. In 2004 he signed a professional contract with Nagoya Grampus and he played for the J1-League club from 2004 to 2007.
The left-footed midfielder then moved to Europe, signing a deal with VVV-Venlo on January 16, 2008 and it has to be noted that he scored 24 goals in 68 league appearances for the Dutch outfit. In the winter of 2009 Keisuke Honda joined Russian club CSKA Moscow for an undisclosed fee. The Japanese footballer quickly established himself as CSKA’s key player and in 2013 he won the Russian Premier League title with the Armeitsy.
Nowadays, the Japan international plays for Mexican side Pachuca. As for his international career, Honda made his Japan debut on June 22, 2008. Honda is well known for his accurate and powerful shot and he often scores from free-kicks.
Highlighted Team (Costa Rica):
Los Ticos are administered by the Costa Rican Football Federation and are members of the CONCACAF confederation competing at the international stage since 1921, although it was not until 1927 that they had become the FIFA members.
Costa Rica is the most successful national football team in the history of Central America with eight championships and their decorated reputation was upheld in 2014 when the current Central American champions made an imposing impression during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Having reached the quarter-finals, Costa Ricans continue to be a thorn in the side for a many bigger soccer nations.
Alvaro Saborio is the most-capped member of the current team captained by Bryan Ruiz, but the most prominent star of the squad is definitely Real Madrid goalkeeper and 2016 Champions League winner Keylor Navas. Arsenal forward Joel Campbell is also a notable player whose 2014 FIFA World Cup performances have been nothing short of impressive.