Humbled Costa Rica vow to come out swinging against Japan

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DOHA: Costa Rica are “not dead” at the World Cup despite their 7-0 drubbing by Spain and will not give up on a place in the last 16 without a fight, coach Luis Fernando Suarez said Saturday.

“Los Ticos” will try to pick up the pieces of their campaign in Qatar when they face Japan in their second match on Sunday and Suarez said they “still have a chance” of advancing from Group E.

The coach conceded though that Costa Rica will need to give a drastically improved performance after being played off the pitch by a rampant Spain.

“I know that every player is aware of what they didn’t do in the game, in physical terms, in football terms and even emotionally,“ said a bullish Suarez.

“They are aware that they need to have a different performance tomorrow.

“In the last three days we have been working and I can see that we are ready to have a different performance and not repeat the mistakes we had against Spain.”

Suarez said he may make changes to his starting line-up but stressed that “it’s not just about names — it’s about attitudes”.

The coach said there had been “not much that was positive” against Spain but he refused to lie down and be beaten.

“The message I need to send to my people is that we will keep fighting,“ he said, amid a grilling from Costa Rican reporters.

Japan will come into the match fresh from their stunning 2-1 win over Germany in their opening game.

Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell said the Blue Samurai will be eager to take a step closer to the knockout round but he vowed to “leave everything out on the pitch”.

“We are ready to give everything but this is football and sometimes things don’t go as you expect,“ said Campbell, one of five survivors from Costa Rica’s run to the quarter-finals in 2014 who started against Spain.

“We don’t know what will happen in the next match but we will bring our A game.”-AFP

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