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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Hajime Moriyasu wants no complacency from Japan against Costa Rica

Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu encouraged his players to quickly “forget” their opening win against Germany and focus on Sunday’s Group E encounter with Costa Rica.

ednesday’s victory was one of the most surprising results from the first round of group-stage games, with Japan upsetting the four-time World Cup winners 2-1.

While Moriyasu repeated his view that the match was an “historic victory” for Japan, he insisted now was not the time for reminiscing.

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Japan fans look on during their country’s World Cup opener (Mike Egerton/PA)

He said: “[Germany] is one of the best powerhouses in the football community, so I consider that this is an achievement of Japan and our players were wonderful, so I’m really proud of them playing like that.

“However, the win doesn’t really promise a win for us tomorrow and our opponents are different, so of course we need to play differently, otherwise we won’t win. The past achievement needs to be forgotten, as there’s no time for complacency and we will focus on tomorrow’s match.”

Japan are hoping to advance to the round of 16 for the fourth time in seven appearances in the World Cup finals. Their best ever finish was ninth, in both 2002 and 2010.

Moriyasu revealed Japan “wants to build its own style by also learning from other countries”, and their most influential teachers may well be the country they beat on Wednesday as seven members of the Samurai Blue play in the Bundesliga, while Ao Tanaka plies his trade in Bundesliga 2.

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Former Arsenal forward Joel Campbell wants a better result for Costa Rica (Adam Davy/PA)

Costa Rica, meanwhile, are looking to regroup after Spain handed them a heavy 7-0 defeat in their opener and face an uphill – though not mathematically impossible – battle to advance.

Former Arsenal forward Joel Campbell said: “As long as we have the possibility to progress we will need to leave everything on the pitch.

“It won’t be easy of course, but we are very excited because we can still progress to the next phase and we need to fight for that. We will bring our A-game tomorrow.”

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