Costa Rica Tops Japan
After suffering a 7-0 loss Wednesday in its World Cup Opener against Spain, Costa Rica bounced back with a 1-nil victory over Japan Sunday at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar.
In the 81st minute, Costa Rican defender Keysher Fuller lofted a left-footed shot just past the outstretched arms of Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda — who made a tournament-high eight saves Wednesday against Germany — for the lone goal of the match.
With one match remaining in the group stage, Costa Rica and Japan are tied with three points each. However, Japan owns the tiebreaker as its 0 goal differential defeats Costa Rica (-6).
Germany Limits Explosive Spanish Attack to Notch First Point
Following a scoreless first half, Spanish forward Álvaro Morata entered the match for Ferran Torres and scored his second goal of the tournament within 10 minutes of the substitution.
In the 83rd minute, German forward Niclas Füllkrug — who entered the match for striker Thomas Müller — tied the match with a top-left-corner goal.
Despite the draw, Spain still leads Group E with four points and maintains a tournament-best +7 goal differential. Germany, meanwhile, remains in fourth place after earning its first point of the tournament.
Germany will face a must-win scenario against Costa Rica Thursday as the 2014 World Cup champions look to avoid a second straight group-stage elimination. Spain — No. 7 in the current FIFA World Men’s Ranking — will advance to the knockout round with either a win or draw versus Japan.
Both matches will kick off at 2 p.m.