Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Yoshida rallies Japan after Costa Rica disappointment

Yoshida rallies Japan after Costa Rica disappointment

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Japan's defender #22 Maya Yoshida (centre, blue) fights for the ball during their Qatar 2022 World Cup Group E football match against Costa Rica at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha, on November 27. AFP

Yoshida rallies Japan after Costa Rica disappointment

Japan captain Maya Yoshida urged his team to stick together after their 1-0 loss to Costa Rica on November 27 and believes a place in the knock-out round is still within their reach.

Yoshida said the Blue Samurai struggled to come down from the high of beating Germany in their opening game and found it "difficult" to prepare for Costa Rica, who were coming off a 7-0 thrashing by Spain.

Japan will likely now need at least a point in their final group game against Spain to progress and Yoshida urged his team-mates to pull off another famous win.

"We didn't have the same mentality as against Germany today, probably – that was our big mistake," Yoshida said, after losing to a Costa Rica side that scored in the 81st minute with their first shot on target.

"It's too easy to say we give up. Our strength is solidarity and unity. Again, we need to stick together and try to get the three points in the next game."

Japan looked a shadow of the vibrant side that roared back to stun Germany as they toiled against a defence-minded Costa Rica.

A win would have seen the Blue Samurai take a giant step towards the last 16 and Yoshida admitted they found the situation difficult to deal with.

"After the huge win against Germany and a big defeat for Costa Rica against Spain, it was a very difficult preparation, mentally," he said.

"I've been asking myself all the time for these past three days, are you ready? I asked that to the squad as well."

No panic

Japan had the lion's share of possession but failed to carve out many clear-cut chances against a Costa Rica side playing with five defenders.

Instead it was "Los Ticos" who scored with their only chance of the game, after a loose clearance by Yoshida allowed Keysher Fuller to fire off a shot that beat goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda.

"You have to take your chances and we didn't," said Japan defender Yuto Nagatomo.

"They hardly had any chances but when they had one, they scored from it. That's football.

"We have to accept this result but we're not finished yet. We have to get ready for the Spain game."

Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu made five changes from the starting line-up that beat Germany but said he had "no regrets" about how his team played.

He refused to push the panic button with one game still remaining.

"Spain are a strong team but we thought from the start that we would need three games to qualify so we'll keep preparing as normal," said the manager.

"Beating Germany doesn't mean we can beat Spain – both teams have won the World Cup and we have a lot of respect for them – but we did beat Germany.

"Spain will be a tough game but I think we have a good chance of winning."


  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior