After seeing their friendly encounter with Chile got canceled following a horrible earthquake that hit Sapporo, Japan are scheduled to host Costa Rica at the Suita City Football Stadium in their first game after the World Cup adventure.
The Samurai Blue’s journey in Russia ended in the round of 16 when they lost a 2-goal lead over Belgium 30 minutes before the final whistle only to see themselves heading home in the final seconds of the game after Nacer Chadli found the back of the net in the 94th minute. Hajime Moriyasu is eagerly anticipating his premier match on the bench of the national team, hoping to persuade the Japan Football Association to make him a permanent coach instead of an interim solution.
Meanwhile, Los Ticos, who have suffered a 2-0 defeat to South Korea in their first match after the World Cup misery, are desperately trying to get back on the right foot under the guidance of Ronald Gonzalez, who replaced Óscar Ramírez on the national team bench. After a 3-0 victory over Northern Ireland, the CONCACAF-based side lost five out of six matches, including two defeats in Russia while drawing just once in the process, as they look to end a disastrous spell in Suita.
Moriyasu has to deal with some radical changes, with Shinji Kagawa, Yuya Osako, Gaku Shibasaki, Keisuke Honda, and Makoto Hasebe all ruled out for a midweek showdown. As for the visitors, Gonzalez has decided to shake things up a bit and introduce numerous youngsters, leaving some established first-team members out the squad, including Keylor Nava, Bryan Ruiz, Christian Bolanos, and Marco Urena.
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