World Cup marksman aid from Costa Rica?: DFB team hopes for the pride of the humiliated

Summer 2014 is pure joy in Costa Rica.

World Cup marksman aid from Costa Rica?: DFB team hopes for the pride of the humiliated

Summer 2014 is pure joy in Costa Rica. The country enchants the football world at the World Cup in Brazil. And now? The opposite is the case. But now, of all times, the DFB-Elf needs the help of the humiliated after the bitter blunder against Japan.

Costa Rica is a beautiful country. A tourist destination. Germany's battered internationals at the World Cup in Qatar will not think of "La Pura Vida" (pure life) when they respond to a coup by the national team around the aged keeper Keylor on Sunday (11 a.m. in the live ticker on Navas hope against Japan. The hearty 0:7 against Spain on Wednesday has an effect on the outsider. "The doubts this has left are understandable, but it's up to us to turn the tide against Japan," said Deportivo Saprissa defender Kendall Waston.

It was an evening of shame. And coach Luis Fernando Suárez's team without a chance is now becoming a great hope for Manuel Neuer and his colleagues. If Costa Rica gets at least one point or even a win in the duel of the underdogs, Germany's chances of reaching the round of 16 increase significantly. On the other hand, if Japan wins for the second time, the team of national coach Hansi Flick would almost certainly have been eliminated in a draw against the brutally strong Spaniards in the evening (8 p.m.) - because Spain can hardly be caught after the 7-0 goal difference.

The team around Champions League veteran Navas is preparing for the task against the nimble Japanese in the small Al Ahli Stadium. Floodlights don't work that evening, but it's still bright enough for training. The tartan track looks a bit faded. Al Ahli Sports Club, formerly Al Najah SC, the oldest club in the wealthy Emirate of Qatar, founded in 1950, usually plays here. Suárez takes a sip of water on the halfway line. If he did that at home, a note on the fridge door would remind him of his opponents in Group E for a long time before the crucial playoff game against New Zealand in June.

Costa Rica had won the game 1-0 and thus nurtured the hopes of a World Cup appearance like a good eight years ago. In 2014, the eleven were among the top eight teams in the tournament. A performance like "pura Vida". Incidentally, Suárez was coach of Honduras at the World Cup at the time, having led Ecuador to the finals in 2006. But this time, after the 0:7, there is frustration.

Very different from the Japanese, who celebrated after the coup against the DFB team. The starting position for Japan is excellent: If they manage to win another win against Costa Rica, the round of 16 is almost perfect. "We won't switch from joy to sadness now, but there is still work to be done. We have to look back and see what we can do better for the next game," head coach Hajime Moriyasu said on Thursday.

With that, Japan could follow in the footsteps of Costa Rica, who mastered a group with England, Italy and Uruguay in 2014 and then even made it to the quarter-finals in a sensational way. That's what the Japanese are now calling out as a goal. "We celebrated a great win but we're moving forward," said Moriyasu. He could get his jokers Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano off the bench again, from where they decided the Germany game with a lot of speed and goal risk.

Costa Rica, on the other hand, is still playing with some of the players who caused the furious World Cup in 2014. Navas, for example: The 35-year-old substitute keeper from Paris Saint-Germain has not yet experienced humiliation like that against Spain. Or substitute Bryan Ruiz, 37 years old and an icon at home. You have to stop thinking small, he said before leaving for his last World Cup and - as it looks now - his two more international matches. For December 17 - one day before the final - he has scheduled his farewell club match in Costa Rica well before the crashing opening defeat.