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World Cup: Japan, Costa Rica, Spain, Germany’s matches of survival

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Sunday, November 27th, 2022
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Vanguard News Nigeria

Despite something of a thrashing at the hands of Spain in their opening game, Costa Rica and their fans are still looking to make an impression in Qatar.

A win today would keep them in contention to reach the last 16.

The win over Germany notwithstanding, Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu makes five changes to his line-up.

In come Miki Yamane, Hidemasa Morita, Yuki Soma, Ayase Ueda and Ritsu Doan, who came off the bench to score the equaliser against Germany.

Arsenal full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu was introduced at half-time against Germany but again starts on the bench.

Japan XI: Gonda; Yamane, Itakura, Yoshida, Nagatomo; Endo, Morita, Doan, Kamada, Soma; Ueda.

And while they were thrashed by Spain in their opener, the Costa Rica team shows just two changes.

Kendall Waston replaces Carlos Martinez at right-back and Gerson Torres is preferred to Jewison Bennette on the left wing.Costa Rica XI: Navas; Waston, Duarte, Calvo, Oviedo; Fuller, Borges, Tejeda, Torres; Campbell, Contreras.

‘First final for Germany’

Head coach Hansi Flick says Germany’s World Cup clash with Spain is a “first final” as they try to avoid another early exit at a major tournament.

A group-stage elimination in 2018 was Germany’s earliest for 80 years and they reached the last 16 at Euro 2020.

After a shock 2-1 defeat to Japan in their opening game, another loss to Spain could end Germany’s hopes of progressing in Qatar.

“The last two tournaments were not [good],” Flick said.

“We want to avoid a repeat of this. The focus is on concentration. This is the first final for us at the World Cup and that’s what it’s about – to avoid a repeat of that.”

Spain boss Luis Enrique, whose side beat Costa Rica 7-0, is expecting a tough game.

“Without a doubt, they are the team that is most similar to Spain in terms of dominating the play and controlling it,” he said.

“That is a beautiful challenge for us. I think it will be an open game.”

Later… England, Wales

Kieran Trippier says England will not underestimate Wales when the two home nations meet in the World Cup on Tuesday.

The Three Lions will qualify for the knockout stage if they avoid a 4-0 defeat in their final Group B game.

“The motivation is there – England against Wales is a massive game,” added Newcastle defender Trippier.

“Every single team in our group are in the top 20.

“So you can’t underestimate any team – you have to give respect and we certainly do to Iran, USA and Wales.” BBC

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