Japan and Costa Rica will face off in their second group stage match of the 2023 Women’s World Cup on Wednesday, July 26th. Japan is the heavy favorite in this match, as they are ranked 11th in the world, while Costa Rica is ranked 36th. This article will be a guide and prediction fot the upcoming football match.
The contrasting starts to the tournament could potentially lead to an early exit for Costa Rica, while Japan has the opportunity to secure their spot in the knockout stages in Dunedin.
In their opening match, Costa Rica faced a dominant Spain side and suffered a 3-0 defeat. The statistics painted a grim picture for them, as they conceded a staggering 46 shots on goal and held possession for just 19.9% of the game. Notably, this marked the first time in Women’s World Cup history (since the 2011 edition) that a team had less than 20% possession and completed fewer than 80 passes (only 74). Goalkeeper Daniela Solera, despite the challenging circumstances, made an impressive 10 saves, becoming the first goalkeeper to achieve such a feat since Thailand’s Waraporn Boonsing against Germany in 2015 (13 saves).
On the other hand, Japan enjoyed an excellent start to their campaign by thrashing Zambia 5-0. The victory was particularly notable because they did not face a single shot from the Zambian side—a unique achievement in their Women’s World Cup history.
Futoshi Ikeda’s team has shown strength in the group stage, winning five of their last seven matches (D1 L1). Their 5-0 triumph over Zambia was the second-largest victory in the history of the tournament for Japan, surpassed only by their 6-0 demolition of Argentina in 2003.
The upcoming match against Costa Rica holds the potential for individual milestones within the Japanese team. If Hinata Miyazawa, Mina Tanaka, or Riko Ueki manage to score, they will become the first players from Japan to find the net in both of their first two Women’s World Cup games, having all achieved this feat in the victory against Zambia.
Japan is expected to start with their strongest lineup for this match. Mina Tanaka, Yui Hasegawa, and Riko Ueki are all expected to start in attack, while Saki Kumagai and Hina Sugita are expected to start in midfield.
Costa Rica is expected to make some changes to their lineup after their loss to Spain. They may start with Raquel Rodriguez in midfield, and they may also give a start to Carolina Venegas up front.
Where to Watch
Telemundo Deportes En Vivo
DirecTV Stream, Sling Blue
Sling Latino, YouTube, FIFA+
FOX Sports App, Foxsports.com
1 AM ET / 10 PM PT
Japan is the clear favorite to win this match. They are the better team on paper, and they have a good recent record against Costa Rica. I am predicting a 2-0 win for Japan.
Our Expert Tipster Tip
Total Goal: +2.5
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