Japan gears up for Costa Rica clash

Takuya Matsumoto / The Yomiuri Shimbun
Members of the Japan squad train in Doha on Friday.

DOHA — Members of Japan’s national soccer team were busy practicing in Doha on Friday ahead of their World Cup Group E match against Costa Rica on Sunday.

Ranked 24th in the world, Japan stunned 11th-ranked Germany in their first group-stage match on Wednesday, with a 2-1 victory over one of the favorites to win the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Germany next faces Spain, which defeated 31st-ranked Costa Rica 7-0 on Wednesday.

If Japan beats Costa Rica on Sunday and Germany draws or loses to Spain, Japan will seal a spot in the knockout stages with a final group-stage match against Spain remaining.

The Samurai Blue are no strangers to the Round of 16. Japan made its third appearance in the knockout stages of a World Cup at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Japan vs Costa Rica kicks off at 1 p.m. (7 p.m. JST.)