Costa Rica rallies to beat Japan 1-0 in Group E of World Cup
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The defending tournament champions Costa Rica will host Japan in their opening game of the 2016 Copa America. This year’s edition of the tournament will be headlined by a first round clash between Costa Rica and Japan. Both sides will be looking to gain some form in the Copa as they look to avoid the dreaded Group H exit next year. Both Costa Rica and Japan failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, but have been in the run for the last four years and both sides have managed some notable results in recent times. Costa Rica have managed to beat Chile in the first game, while Japan beat Nigeria and Iran in the first two games, but that result came in the last group stage game.
The Costa Rican squad currently have five players from 2014 World Cup qualifying: Juan Guzman (Costa Rica), Nelson Valdez (Costa Rica), Jose Dyguiedo (Costa Rica), Christian Arroyo (Costa Rica) and Keylor Navas (Costa Rica). The list goes on – Diego Tardelli (Mexico), David Ospina (Mexico), Carlos Bocanegra (Mexico), Paulo Miranda (Mexico), Yordy Reyna (Mexico), Andres Escobar (Mexico) and Luis Guillén (Mexico) were all part of the squad during qualifying. The current squad will be buoyed by the return of some familiar names, with captain Luis Suarez and captain Arturo Vidal set to return from injury for the second leg. Suarez has missed Costa Rica’s last four games, while Vidal has missed five games since the opening group stage game.
Costa Rica have lost three of their last four games and have not scored in over a month. Costa Rica have looked vulnerable this season, they have conceded ten times in four games, but the only thing missing from the team is Diego Costa and his goals. Costa Rica have only managed one goal in their last six games and have scored once in their last four games.