Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Buoyed by a come-from-behind win over Germany, Japan will look to give fans yet another reason for celebration when they face Costa Rica at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium. The Samurai Blue proved their worth in the World Cup opener, and a win over Costa Rica will see them move one step closer to advancing to the knockout stages. Both Doan and Asano, who got their names on the scoresheet against Germany, are pushing for recalls, but there are no fresh injury worries in Hajime Moriyasu’s team.
Luis Suarez’s troops, on the other hand, experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 7-0 loss to Spain, which is probably the main reason why we are going to bet on Japan. Both Calvo and Campbell are one yellow card away from suspension, whereas experience forward Kendall Waston could sneak into the starting XI.
Highlighted Player (Keylor Navas):
Keylor Navas is an exceptionally gifted goal keeper who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Costa Rica national team. The 29-year-old rose through the youth ranks at Saprissa before making his professional bow with them in 2005.
After a successful stint with them, he ventured into Spanish football with a move to Albacete and then to Levante. His exploits at Levante earned him a move to Real Madrid where he quickly established as a first-team regular. Despite coming within seconds of moving away from the club to accommodate David de Gea, Navas became a crowd favorite with outstanding displays in 2015-16 season.
Navas has played over 60 games for Costa Rica having made his debut in 2008. He has represented them at the 2014 FIFA World Cup where Costa Rica were a losing quarter-finalists. Their progress in the tournament is largely attributed to the success of Navas under the sticks.
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.