Costa Rica has beaten Japan 1-0 to keep their hopes of qualification in the next round of the World Cup alive.

Iran PressMiddle East: Luis Fernando Suarez’s players spent most of Sunday’s game on the backfoot but came on top with right-back Keysher Fuller’s beautiful curler in the 81st minute, their first and only shot on target.

Japan, who entered Ahmad bin Ali Stadium full of confidence after their win over Germany, lacked the cutting edge to break down a resolute Costa Rican defence.

The game seemed headed for a dour stalemate but burst into life after Fuller’s late goal.

The result throws Group E wide open. Costa Rica, who lost their opening game 7-0 to Spain, are remarkably still in the mix to qualify for the next round.

A win on Sunday would have sealed Japan’s spot in the round of 16, but they will now need to get a result in their last game against Spain to keep their hopes of qualification alive.


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