Costa Rica upset Japan, become first Concacaf team to win in 2022 World Cup


Pura Vida! After a nightmare 7-0 loss to Spain to start their 2022 FIFA World Cup participation, Costa Rica bounced back in Group E in a major way, defeating Japan 1-0 on Sunday at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

Japan came into the game as a heavy favorite after shockingly defeating Germany in their World Cup opener 2-1, but couldn’t find a way to break down Los Ticos. Instead, it would be Keysher Fuller who’d score the winner in the 81st minute for Costa Rica, who became the first team from the Concacaf region to win a match in Qatar.

Real Salt Lake defender Bryan Oviedo started his second match for Costa Rica and played the full 90 minutes while former FC Cincinnati captain Kendall Waston and former San Jose Earthquakes defender Francisco Calvo also featured. MLS NEXT Pro player Daniel Chacón (Colorado Rapids 2) made his World Cup debut as a late-game sub, while Cincinnati’s Ronald Matarrita watched from the bench.

Costa Rica will now have a chance at qualifying for the Round of 16 on Thursday when they face Germany (2 pm ET | FS1, Telemundo).

Germany will look to stave off elimination when they take on Spain later Sunday.