Costa Rica were the designated whipping boys of their World Cup group, and that was before Spain beat them 7-0. Nobody gave them any hope of winning a match, let alone qualifying, but they could go into their final match against Germany needing a point to qualify.
Following their heroic 2-1 victory over Germany on Wednesday, many had expected Japan to beat Costa Rica comfortably. Japan controlled much of the game and the ball in the match, but struggled to break down the Costa Rica defence.
With ten minutes remaining, Keysher Fuller curled an effort not quite beyond Shuichi Gonda, but far enough to prevent the Japanese keeper from saving it.
Fuller masterclass 😮💨pic.twitter.com/3WifryniSP
— GonçaloDias17 (@goncalo_diass17) November 27, 2022
Against all odds, Costa Rica take the lead!!
It's taken 170 minutes of World Cup action but the South Americans have finally scored with their first shot on target! 🙌🇨🇷
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) November 27, 2022
COSTA RICA HAS SCORED ITS FIRST GOAL OF THE 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP 🇨🇷 pic.twitter.com/PMZ2GFTI7k
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 27, 2022
Gonda’s error, an early jump and a weak hand, may leave them needing a result against Spain in their final game to qualify. If the match ends with a victory for Los Ticos, they will go into the match level with Japan but behind on goal difference.