Japan v Costa Rica: World Cup 2022 – live | World Cup 2022


Key events

44 mins: Yamane is cautioned for giving Campbell a kick on the back of his ankles for no reason whatsoever. Maybe the players are frustrated by how bad this all is.

42 mins: Contreras goes into the book for a late challenge on Yoshida, catching the Japan defender on the top of the boot with his studs. That is basically the first thing to have happened in this match.

They are currently showing a montage of aerial duels and tackles. I think we accept this is a poor match.

40 mins: The good news for Costa Rica is that they have kept out Japan for 40 minutes, so they will really struggle to ship seven from now on.

38 mins: I fear we are not far off John Hartson telling us an anecdote about his childhood to pass the time. I think we can expect a couple of Japan changes at half time if things continue in this fashion.

Endo takes aim from the edge of the box but Tejeda slides in to block.

36 mins: Costa Rica get the ball into the box, allowing Contreras to lay the ball off to Campbell 18 yards out. The former Arsenal man decides to shoot with the outside of his left boot but he loops high over the bar. It is a shot, though, so that’s pretty exciting.

34 mins: Good news! My order of wine and steak has been shipped.

On the pitch … plenty of sideways passing from Costa Rica and some half-hearted pressing from Japan.

32 mins: Very solid first game of the day vibes here. Not much actually happening.

30 mins: Costa Rica play some nice passes but they do not actually make it out of their own half. It is a bit of a struggle for them this match.

28 mins: It looks like we will not have a drinks break, which means no coffee for me. I have a toddler, I have been up a long time and there hasn’t been a shot on target in this match! I NEED COFFEE.

26 mins: Campbell is doing his best to hold the ball for Costa Rica because they are under a lot of pressure. The former Arsenal man is only 30, I assumed he was about 35. He is currently plying his trade in Mexico.

24 mins: I say that and then Contreras takes the ball into the box at pace but cannot slow himself down, resulting in a very weak cross while off-balance which is whacked clear.

22 mins: Costa Rica have not made it out of their have for a while. Japan are certainly on top and I am confident they will wear down those in red.

20 mins: Japan are clicking and play a couple of dangerous passes into the box but miscontrol and the alertness of Navas ensure they do not cause Costa Rica too many problems.

18 mins: Both teams are a long way from their opening fixture; Japan look a touch disjointed, while Costa Rica are plenty with plenty of commitment. Neither of these factors are making this into a cracking match.

Japan put together a good move, trying to find the space inside the box against a Costa Rica side that are playing very deeply. The attacks ends with a cross being chipped out of play.

16 mins: There are plenty of red seats on the lower levels around the pitch. It really does take away from the spectacle.

14 mins: Doan finds space inside the box and flashes a cracking cross along the six-yard box but there is no one there in a blue shirt to tap home. It seems to have awoken the crowd, at least.

12 mins: I wonder if the heat is making the game a touch slow at the moment. I am mainly looking forward to a rehydration break so I can go make a coffee. Come on, Mr Oliver, make it happen.

10 mins: Not much is actually happening. There is not currently much tempo or flow to the game.

8 mins: Japan the more patient in their early approach, passing it around calmly before trying to pick a gap. Costa Rica look keen to be as direct as possible.

6 mins: Contreras goes down holding his ankle after a misjudged challenge from Yamane. Moments later Campbell ducks and darts between two Japanese defenders but is caught on his thigh to earn a free-kick. Once again, the delivery is poor.

4 mins: The five changes Japan have made gives them a freshness after their win over Germany. They look keen to play on the front foot.

Costa Rica get the chance to send a free-kick into the box but it is easily cleared.

2 mins: Oh how I loathe the countdown to kick-off.

Japan are showing their intent and are completely on top, already putting in a couple of dangerous crosses from the left. A corner comes in from the left but is blocked by Borges’ back.

Costa Rica's Borges blocks a corner.
Costa Rica’s Borges blocks a corner. Photograph: Raúl Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images

Kick off

Peep! Peep! Peep! Here we go!

The anthems are out of the way. We are closing in on kick-off.

We could have cooling breaks during today’s match, according to Clive Tyldesley. Could be a long old match.

There are plenty of empty seats inside the stadium but that should not be a surprise by this stage of the tournament.

Kubo, Tomiyasu, Mitoma and Minamino on the bench. That’s some decent strength in depth on offer to Japan.

Kári Tulinius emails: “Not to diminish Danny Mills brilliant long-range bomb against Everton, but surely his finest moment was playing in the Champions League semi-final against Valencia in 2001. Incidentally, there he faced Didier Deschamps in the latter’s last ever match. That said, the goal is probably his most remembered moment, and we’ll be lucky if today’s match is graced with its equal.”

ITV’s Angus Scott shows that is possible to attend four games in a day in Doha. Good to see there are a few positives at this World Cup.

The Costa Rican tourist board are putting ads out on TV. It does look a lot more inviting than a trip to Qatar.

I’d probably just text her, mate.

A Japan fan holds up at side inside the stadium.
A Japan fan holds up at side inside the stadium. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

What else is happening today? Our World Cup briefing will tell you.

In the ITV studio is the Guardian’s very own Karen Carney (wahey) and the Telegraph’s Joe Cole (booooooo).

When I think of early Sunday kick-offs, attending Manchester City v Everton in 2005 was my earliest start time: 11.15 kick-off. Admittedly, I did see the best moment of Danny Mills’ career, so it was worth it.

Starting lineups

Japan (4-2-3-1): Gonda; Yamane, Itakura, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Endo, Morita; Doan, Kamada, Soma; Ueda

Costa Rica (4-2–2-2): Navas; Watson, Calvo, Duarte, Oviedo; Tejeda, Borges; Fuller, Torres; Campbell, Contreras

For those interested … Michael Oliver is the referee for today’s big match.

Japan to make history?

The Costa Rican fans have not been subdued by their opening day 7-0 loss.

Keep dancin’.
Keep dancin’. Photograph: Bernadett Szabó/Reuters

What do you think of when someone mentions Costa Rican football? There is only one answer. Courtesy of Michael Butler.

Barney Ronay and Tom Jenkins went for a wander around Lusail. It seems interesting

Preamble

Japan shocked Germany in the opening game, while Costa Rica were roundly thrashed 7-0 by Spain. There is surely only one outcome here today. Costa Rica beating Japan at this stage would arguably be a bigger surprise than what was dished out to the Germans.

By the end of the day, Japan could be into the knockout stages of the tournament and Germany plotting an early return home to please their club managers. Costa Rica, however, have a point to prove and will not want to succumb to another bewildering defeat. They rarely make it to this stage, so will want to make some good memories to go with the ones that involve Gavi and Dani Olmo.

Japan thoroughly deserved their victory last time out and will be keen to build on that today. Their squad is incredibly talented and they will be confident they can do the business.

Let’s hope for a Sunday morning (UK time) cracker.

Kick-off: 10am GMT.





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