Belgium vs Morocco LIVE: World Cup 2022 result and final score after Zakaria Aboukhlal hits late second

Belgium vs Morocco LIVE: World Cup 2022 result and final score after Zakaria Aboukhlal hits late second

Abdelhamid Sabiri scored from an audaciously tight angle and fellow substitute Zakaria Aboukhlal added a second in stoppage time as Morocco pulled off a shock 2-0 win over Belgium in World Cup Group F on Sunday.

Sabiri’s free kick from near the corner flag caught out Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois at the near post as it curled in for the 73rd-minute winner, securing only Morocco‘s third victory at the World Cup finals.

Aboukhlal’s goal came on the counter-attack, set up by Hakim Ziyech as Belgium were caught pressing forward for the equaliser.

The North Africans also had the ball in the net with the last kick of the first half as Ziyech’s free kick eluded everyone in the penalty area and caught Courtois unsighted, but a VAR check found skipper Romain Saiss had been just offside. Morocco moved on to four points from two games with Belgium, second in the world rankings, on three. Canada and Croatia were meeting later in Sunday’s other Group F match.

Relive all the action with our live blog below and follow coverage from Croatia vs Canada next:

Belgium vs Morocco

  • Dismal Belgium fall to lively Morocco in Group F to cast doubt on World Cup 2022 hopes

  • REPORT: Morocco stun sorry Belgium to ignite hopes of World Cup history

  • 90+2’ GOAL! Aboukhlal hits late second with delightful finish into roof of net (BEL 0-2 MOR)

  • 73’ GOAL! Sabiri breaks the deadlock with a wicked free-kick from a tight angle (BEL 0-1 MOR)

  • 65’ SAVE! Good feet from Mertens, then a powerful strike punched clear by Munir (BEL 0-0 MOR)

  • 54’ SAVE ! Hazard dribbles his way to the box and lashes a shot towards the near post, stopped by Munir (BEL 0-0 MOR)

  • 45+2’ GOAL DISALLOWED! VAR denies Ziyech after whipped free-kick from a tight angle and it goes through everybody and past Courtois (BEL 0-0 MOR)

  • 39’ CLOSE! De Bruyne whips a dangerous free-kick narrowly over from a tight angle (BEL 0-0 MOR)

  • 35’ WHAT A MISS! Hakimi is storming in on goal and could cut it back but blazes over (BEL 0-0 MO)

  • 17’ CHANCE! Onana rises highest at the corner but cannot hit the target, should do better (BEL 0-0 MOR)

  • 6’ CHANCE! Batshuayi slipped in but a poor effort isn’t even on target but goes out for a corner (BEL 0-0 MOR)

  • FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES: Canada look to upset Croatia in Group F

Morocco stun sorry Belgium to ignite hopes of World Cup history

15:32 , Michael Jones

“No chance” was Kevin De Bruyne’s blunt assessment when discussing Belgium’s likelihood of success at this World Cup in the build-up to it and after collapsing to a stunning defeat at the hands of Morocco here in Qatar, it’s hard to argue with the Manchester City midfielder’s so famously impeccable vision.

Manager Roberto Martinez described the opening display in the narrowest of wins over Canada as “technically the worst” of his six-year tenure in charge but with even the faintest of faint glimpses of the quality this side used to light up Russia four years ago utterly absent for this second outing, you suspect he may have a new low bar.

Captain Eden Hazard suggested in his pre-match press conference that the time may have come and gone for this golden group, and, after a second deeply disappointing performance in succession here, that time may have vanished far sooner than even he expected.

Morocco stun sorry Belgium to ignite hopes of World Cup history

Reaction from Roberto Martinez

15:20 , Michael Jones

Belgium boss, Roberto Martinez, must be rocking after that result. He spoke to BBC One after Morocco’s win saying: “It’s a difficult result because the first goal affected the outcome a lot. It’s a dead ball situation, we couldn’t get our game going and it’s a game that we need to understand. We need to be together and react in the next game. That’s what happens in the World Cup.

“The way we defended the goal is the way we have been defending free-kicks for six years, that’s not the issue. It’s a good ball in, it’s nothing to do with the set up.

“I think we had good moments but we couldn’t get clear cut chances, we only had a couple of half opportunities and if you allow that goal to be conceded then it changes the game radically.

“At the moment we conceded the goal we lost our composure too much and we couldn’t get ourselves back in the final third with more thought.

“We knew Morocco were getting bodies behind the ball and we couldn’t break them down. The game went away from us the moment we conceded the goal.

“We need to make sure that we get stronger together and we’ll get ready for the third game.”

Shape-shifting Belgium fail to find route to excitement, entertainment or World Cup last 16

15:15 , Michael Jones

From a back three to a back four, but from being utterly overwhelmed to be entirely underwhelming.

Belgium were second best in their opening World Cup 2022 game, fortunate to not be behind and then even more lucky to beat Canada. A response was needed against Morocco and head coach Roberto Martinez reacted accordingly, changing both personnel and system.

Neither had the required effect. The defeat to Morocco by two goals to nil leaves them second in Group F with one to play, yet a long way from qualified for the last 16 and with a tough clash against Croatia to come.

Their second outing in Qatar was stodgy, predictable and one-paced, entirely reliant more on moments of inspiration - mostly from an increasingly agitated Kevin de Bruyne - than any kind of patterns of play, clear build-up methodology or regular final-third threat.

Shape-shifting Belgium fail to find route to excitement or World Cup last 16

Morocco stun sorry Belgium to ignite hopes of World Cup history

15:11 , Michael Jones

“No chance” was Kevin De Bruyne’s blunt assessment when discussing Belgium’s likelihood of success at this World Cup in the build-up to it and after collapsing to a stunning defeat at the hands of Morocco here in Qatar, it’s hard to argue with the Manchester City midfielder’s so famously impeccable vision.

Manager Roberto Martinez described the opening display in the narrowest of wins over Canada as “technically the worst” of his six-year tenure in charge but with even the faintest of faint glimpses of the quality this side used to light up Russia four years ago utterly absent for this second outing, you suspect he may have a new low bar.

Captain Eden Hazard suggested in his pre-match press conference that the time may have come and gone for this golden group, and, after a second deeply disappointing performance in succession here, that time may have vanished far sooner than even he expected.

Morocco stun sorry Belgium to ignite hopes of World Cup history

FT Belgium 0-2 Morocco

15:06 , Michael Jones

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Belgium vs Morocco player ratings: Thibaut Courtois fails to learn from mistake in Group F defeat

15:03 , Michael Jones

Belgium suffered a major upset against Morocco at the Qatar World Cup on Sunday, losing 2-0 in Group F to damage their hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds.

While Morocco drew 0-0 with Croatia in their tournament opener, Belgium edged past Canada 1-0 despite largely being outplayed in that game.

And they were poor again here, beaten by a second-half free kick from Abdelhamid Sabiri – whose delivery from Morocco’s left flank went all the way through and past Thibaut Courtois – and a late goal by Zakaria Aboukhlal.

Morocco believed they had scored with a free kick on half time, when a Hakim Ziyech delivery beat Courtois, but the Belgium goalkeeper had been unsighted by the offside Romain Saiss and his blushes were spared. The same could not be said when Sabiri whipped the ball past Courtois and into the net with 15 minutes of normal time left, however, in remarkably similar fashion to the disallowed goal.

Here’s how Belgium’s players fared against Morocco:

Belgium vs Morocco player ratings: Thibaut Courtois fails to learn from mistake

Full-time: Belgium 0-2 Morocco

14:56 , Jack Rathborn

90+5 mins: There’s the whistle! Morocco have the victory. They’re unbeaten in the World Cup so far. This game is just their third ever win in the tournament and it leaves the Atlas Lions on the brink of qualifying for the knockout rounds!

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GOAL! Belgium 0-2 Morocco (Aboukhlal, 90+2’)⚽️

14:52 , Jack Rathborn

90+2 mins: Morocco have won it!

A long ball is pumped up the pitch and gets flicked on by Zakaria Aboukhlal. Hakim Ziyech takes over and breezes around Axel Witsel before driving into the penalty area.

Aboukhal moves into space and waves for the ball with Ziyech pulling it back to him. The substitute then drills it into the back of the net and gives Morocco all three points!

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Belgium 0-1 Morocco

14:51 , Michael Jones

90 mins: There’s only going to be five minutes added on which isn’t much compared to some games at these finals.

Morocco win a corner, play it short and try to keep it near the flag as long as possible. They’re into game management mode now.

Belgium 0-1 Morocco

14:48 , Michael Jones

87 mins: Morocco have avoided defeat in their last four matches when scoring the opening goal in the World Cup. That run dates back to June 1970 when they lost 1-2 against Germany.

They’ve got five at the back now and don’t look likely to concede in all honesty. It’ll be interesting to see how many stoppage time minutes there are.

Belgium 0-1 Morocco

14:44 , Michael Jones

84 mins: Wide! The corner ball is curled into the middle of the penalty area and gets won in the air by Jan Vertonghen. He meets it with a decent header but fires his effort wide of the right hand post.

Belgium have not lost in the World Cup group stages since 1994. Will they find an equaliser before the end of the game?

Belgium 0-1 Morocco

14:41 , Michael Jones

81 mins: Axel Witsel is caught by Hakim Ziyech in the middle of the pitch and Belgium are awarded a free kick. Romelu Lukaku is going to get a run out as his team are in desperate need of a goal.

Lukaku replaces Meunier. Tielemans floats the free kick over to the right wing where a cross into the box is blocked behind for a corner.

Belgium 0-1 Morocco

14:39 , Michael Jones

78 mins: The response from Roberto Martinez sees Brighton’s Leandro Trossard and Charles De Ketelaere come on for Thorgan Hazard and Michy Batshuayi.

That probably means that Lukaku isn’t fit yet. They need him firing before the last game in the group as the Red Devils have been poor so far.

GOAL! Belgium 0-1 Morocco (Sabiri, 73’)⚽️

14:33 , Michael Jones

73 mins: Deadlock broken!

Morocco win a free kick over on the left wing and it’s the substitute Abdelhamid Sabiri who takes this one. They pack the box close to the near post as Sabiri whips a shot into the middle.

Romain Saiss is the closest to the ball but he lets it run and Thibaut Courtois is caught out by not expecting a shot. The ball skips by him and finishes in the back of the net!

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Belgium 0-0 Morocco

14:30 , Michael Jones

69 mins: Double change for Morocco as Yahya Attiat-Allah and Abdelhamid Sabiri come on for Achraf Hakimi and Selim Amallah.

Michy Batshuayi has a shot deflected wide but it wasn’t going to trouble the goal anyway.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

14:26 , Michael Jones

66 mins: Save! Quality from Mertens who drifts into space in the middle of the final third and collects a pass. He shifts the ball away from a challenge, evades another then smokes a shot towards goal that Munir keeps out with a low stop to his right.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

14:23 , Michael Jones

63 mins: Thorgan Hazard flicks the ball over the top to Michy Batshuayi who brings it down before laying it off to Kevin De Bruyne and sprinting into the box.

De Bruyne tries to slip Dries Mertens in on the left but his pass gets intercepted before the flag goes up for offside.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

14:21 , Michael Jones

60 mins: Dries Mertens and Youri Tielemans are introduced by Roberto Martinez with Eden Hazard and Amadu Onana the men replaced. Still no sign of Romelu Lukaku who may not yet be fit enough to play.

What can these substitutes offer to change the course of this game?

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

14:17 , Michael Jones

57 mins: Belgium’s corner gets delivered onto the head of Amadu Onana but he nods it wide of the target.

Close! At the other end of the pitch Hakim Ziyech switches the play and sends it over to Sofiane Boufal. He brings the ball into the penalty area, cuts across Thomas Meunier then curls his shot wide of the far post!

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

14:14 , Michael Jones

54 mins: Save! Belgium respond with a lovely attack of their own. Eden Hazard moves into space on the right side of the pitch and receives the ball.

He carries it into the box on the angle then unleashes a strong shot that Munir turns out for a corner! Great save.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

14:11 , Michael Jones

51 mins: Shot! Hakim Ziyech brings the ball into the Belgium half and shimmies the ball away from Axel Witsel before cutting inside and curling a shot into the arms of Thibaut Courtois.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

14:10 , Michael Jones

48 mins: Belgium have started the second half sloppily. First Thomas Meunier gives the ball away before winning it back and passing the ball into midfield.

Amadu Onana then underhits a pass and plays it straight to Selim Amallah.

Second half: Belgium 0-0 Morocco

14:06 , Michael Jones

Morocco get the game back underway and send a forward ball down the right wing. En-Nesyri chases after it but Jan Vertonghen shuffles across, collects the ball and sends it his goalkeeper who starts Belgium’s build-up from the back.

Ben Davies says England would be weaker if Harry Kane is rested for Wales clash

14:00 , Michael Jones

Ben Davies has suggested England will be weaker without Harry Kane amid talk that Gareth Southgate should rest his skipper for Tuesday’s World Cup clash with Wales.

Former England captains Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney have both urged Southgate to rest Kane with qualification for the knockout stages in Qatar all but guaranteed.

England would have to lose 4-0 to Wales to be denied a round-of-16 spot and Kane, who picked up a knock on the ankle in the first group game against Iran, was subdued in the goalless draw with the United States that he was ultimately declared fit for.

Ben Davies says England would be weaker if Harry Kane is rested for Wales clash

HT Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:56 , Michael Jones

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Half-time: Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:52 , Michael Jones

45+4 mins: Drama late in the first half but the teams head into the break with nothing to separate them. Hakim Ziyech will still be reeling from the chalked off goal but Thibaut Courtois always looked as though he expected it to get disallowed.

NO GOAL! Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:50 , Michael Jones

45+4 mins: Oh no! Hakim Ziyech’s opener is ruled out due to Romain Saiss being offside in the build-up then blocking the goalkeeper’s view. Morocco will be gutted about that but Belgium have a reprieve.

GOAL! Belgium 0-1 Morocco (Ziyech, 45+2’)⚽️

13:47 , Michael Jones

45+2 mins: Morocco score! Right on the stroke of half-time.

Morocco win a free kick over on the right side of the box with Hakim Ziyech standing over the set piece. He whips a pacey ball into the middle as Romain Saiss makes a run to the six-yard area.

Saiss misses his attempted header but the ball skips through and beats Thibaut Courtois to send Morocco ahead!

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:43 , Michael Jones

42 mins: Romelu Lukaku has been sent out to warm-up for Belgium. If the game keeps going the way it is, his introduction won’t be long after the restart for the second half.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:39 , Michael Jones

39 mins: Here’s another chance for Belgium to take the lead. Kevin De Bruyne stands over a free kick to the left side of the penalty area.

He whips the ball into the box in an attempt to go for goal and sends the ball landing on top of the net. Not his best effort that one.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:37 , Michael Jones

36 mins: Chance! Timothy Castagne is drawn out of position allowing Achraf Hakimi to sprint in behind Thorgan Hazard and collect the ball as it’s played over to him.

He carries it into the box and instead of passing to Youssef En-Nesyri he shoots and blasts his effort over the top!

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:34 , Michael Jones

33 mins: Nearly! Eden Hazard does great on the left side of the pitch with a slick spin around his man in midfield which sets him off for a run towards goal .

He squares the ball to Kevin De Bruyne who feeds it across to Thomas Meunier on the right. Meunier curls a low pass into the six-yard area hoping to pick out one of Belgium’s Hazards but Munir Mohamedi scoops up the pitch first.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:31 , Michael Jones

30 mins: That yellow card means that Amadu Onana will miss Belgium’s next match against Croatia. That means it’s imperative that Roberto Martinez’s men win today and secure qualification before then.

Morocco have done well to get back into this game. They’re getting higher up the pitch and are starting to increase the pressure on Belgium.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:29 , Michael Jones

27 mins: Amadu Onana goes in the book for leading with his elbow when challenging Azzedine Ounahi for an aerial ball. The Moroccan free kick gets chipped into the box but no-one gets on the end of it and the ball bounces out for a goal kick.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:26 , Michael Jones

24 mins: The atmosphere in the stadium is very good. The Morocco fans are making a lot of noise and are encouraging their teams to push Belgium back.

Amadu Onana watches as he team mates knock the ball around the back line. He’s calling for the ball in midfield then overhits a through ball for Thorgan Hazard when it eventually come to him.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:24 , Michael Jones

21 mins: Morocco are growing in confidence especially when Belgium take a while to move the ball. Hakim Ziyech gets it into the Belgium final third but laces a loose effort over the crossbar!

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:23 , Michael Jones

18 mins: Amadu Onana rise highest from the set piece and lifts his headed effort over the crossbar.

It is not Yassine Bounou in Morocco’s goal but Munir Mohamedi. The African side changed the goalkeeper just before kick. That’s clear when a shot from Thomas Meunier lands in the hands of the goalkeeper.

Morocco have made no changes in game so this must have come before the start.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:17 , Michael Jones

15 mins: This is already a better performance from Belgium. There’s an intensity and urgency to their play and they’re hunting the ball down as a unit.

Morocco are struggling to get out of their own half at the minute and the African side give away a free kick inside their final third.

The set piece is passed to Hazard who lays it off to De Bruyne allowing the midfielder to strike one from range and his shot gets deflected out for a corner.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:12 , Michael Jones

12 mins: Great strength from Kevin De Bruyne. He’s given the ball and looks to carry it into the box from the right. Romain Saiss comes over to stop him but De Bruyne uses his strength to hold the defender at bay before drawing him into a foul.

The resultant free kick is lifted into the middle but doesn’t find a Belgium shirt and Morocco head it away.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:10 , Michael Jones

9 mins: Looking at the replays Michy Batshuayi’s effort wasn’t going to hit the target but from the angle Yassine Bounou wouldn’t have known that. It was fantastic goalkeeping to get out quickly and narrow the gap to the near post.

Belgium’s corner is cleared away but the European side recover the ball. The start knocking it around the middle in the hopes of drawing Morocco out of position.

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:07 , Michael Jones

6 mins: Save! A lovely move from Belgium sees them sweep through midfield before feeding the ball over to Thorgan Hazard on the left wing.

He sends a perfectly weighted through ball into the box and matches the run of Michy Batshuayi who goes for goal but has his effort deflected wide but goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi!

Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:04 , Michael Jones

3 mins: Hakim Ziyech sparks Morocco into life with a driving run down the wing. He potentially fouls Timothy Castagne in the process but the referee lets play go and Ziyech’s cross comes straight into the waiting hands of Thibaut Courtois.

Kick off: Belgium 0-0 Morocco

13:01 , Michael Jones

Belgium get the ball rolling and send it back to Toby Alderweireld. Morocco immediately drop off the European side and all the Belgians to calmly work their way up the pitch.

Belgium vs Morocco

12:54 , Michael Jones

The teams make their way out onto the pitch ahead of kick off at 1pm. Morocco took a point from their first game against Croatia whilst Belgium defeated Canada.

Roberto Martinez’s men will reach the last 16 if they win today so expect Belgium to dictate play from the start.

Kick off is up next...

Belgium’s best is behind them but enough magic remains for one last shot at World Cup glory

12:50 , Michael Jones

It is the last chance for Belgium’s golden generation, but not their best chance. Not according to their captain, anyway. Belgium have spent much of the period since the last World Cup as officially the international game’s best team. Now they are ranked second on the planet, sandwiched by the South American superpowers of Brazil and Argentina.

But if Fifa’s figures suggest they are among the favourites, other numbers – principally their ages – suggest they are not. They were semi-finalists in Russia. That, Eden Hazard felt, was nearer their peak. “To be fair, I think we had a better chance to win four years ago,” the Belgium skipper said. “The team was better four years ago but still we have the quality to win games and competitions. We have a few guys who are a bit older.”

Hazard’s justification for each part of his analysis was instructive. He cited Belgium’s strengths, while being aware of the deficiencies that, logically, mean their finest opportunity has gone.

Belgium’s best is behind them but magic remains for one last shot at World Cup glory

Belgium undercooked for Canada game

12:45 , Michael Jones

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez believes his side were not prepared for their opening match against Canada and is expecting a better performance today.

“We arrived at the first game with five (training sessions) and that means the team is not ready. We have seen teams start really well (in matches) but then they could not manage the game,” he said.

“You will see teams being ready only after three games. They are having to get ready while they are in the tournament and that is dangerous because it can cost you points.”

Belgium vs Morocco

12:40 , Michael Jones

The fans are excited for this one. Kick off is at 1pm and Roberto Martinez will be hoping his Belgium side improve on their opening performance this afternoon.

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Jurgen Klinsmann seeks to cool tensions in Carlos Queiroz row

12:35 , Michael Jones

Jurgen Klinsmann wants to speak to Iran coach Carlos Queiroz in a bid to calm the situation between them, after the Portuguese took exception to comments the German made about his team.

Queiroz called for Klinsmann to resign from his role as a member of Fifa’s Technical Study Group in a Twitter thread posted on Saturday after the 1990 World Cup winner spoke about how Iran had deployed gamesmanship and “worked the referee” during their win over Wales on Friday.

Queiroz called the remarks “outrageous” and a “disgrace to football”.

Klinsmann has also faced wider criticism for his remarks, which were made during punditry for the BBC, and sought to smooth the waters in an interview with BBC Breakfast on Sunday.

Jurgen Klinsmann seeks to cool tensions in Carlos Queiroz row

Costa Rica earn World Cup redemption as Japan near another tragedy from jaws of triumph

12:30 , Michael Jones

Japan arrived in Qatar hoping to atone for their most infamous of visits to this country, when a stoppage-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Iraq on neutral ground during the qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup denied them their first-ever place at a finals. There have been seven consecutive qualifications since - a remarkable rise to becoming an established footballing nation - but if they leave without reaching the knock-out stages of this tournament, they will be left to lament this defeat as their new ‘Tragedy of Doha’.

After their exceptional win in the first round of group games, not to mention Costa Rica’s 7-0 defeat, this was a chance for Japan to all but secure a place in the last-16 and pile pressure on Germany before their meeting with Spain later this evening. Instead, Keysher Fuller’s 81st-minute winner has turned Group E on its head and produced a plausible scenario where all four sides go into the final round level on points.

Hajime Moriyasu may try to look on the bright side and philosophise that three points after two games is par for the course. But in the cold reality of a World Cup, while witnessing Moriyasu and his players bow apologetically to their supporters at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, the only conclusion to be drawn from a scrappy contest with a sensational finish is that his side have wasted the golden opportunity that beating Germany presented.

Costa Rica earn redemption as Japan near another tragedy from jaws of triumph

Belgium vs Morocco

12:28 , Michael Jones

Belgium’s victory in the group stage of the 1994 World Cup is the only competitive meeting between these sides.

The Red Devils have won their last eight World Cup group-stage matches to equal the tournament record achieved by Brazil on two occasions (1986-1994 and 2002-2010).

Morocco have won only two of their 17 World Cup matches (D6, L9). They claimed victories in their final group stage fixture in 1986 (3-1 against Portugal) and 1998 (3-0 against Scotland).

They have only reached the knockout phase at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

FT Japan 0-1 Costa Rica

12:23 , Michael Jones

Costa Rica end a seven-match winless run at the World Cup (D4-L3). Their last World Cup victories dated back to the 2014 group stage: against Uruguay (3-1) and Italy (1-0) respectively.

Belgium vs Morocco

12:18 , Michael Jones

After a poor performance against Canada which luckily saw them win 1-0 Belgium will qualify for the last 16 if they also defeat Morocco becoming just the second team, after France, to do so.

FT Japan 0-1 Costa Rica

12:13 , Michael Jones

This is a gut-punching stat for fans of Japan.

Japan had 11 shots in the second half, no goals.

Costa Rica had one shot, one goal.

FT Japan 0-1 Costa Rica

12:10 , Michael Jones

Huge win for Costa Rica.

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FT Japan 0-1 Costa Rica

12:06 , Michael Jones

If Germany defeat Spain in the 7pm match tonight then all four teams in Group E will have three points and qualification will be decided in the final group games during the week.

Belgium vs Morocco

12:00 , Michael Jones

Reaction from Costa Rica’s shock victory to come as build-up starts for Belgium’s match vs Morocco. Here’s a look at the two lin-ups:

Belgium XI: Courtois; Meunier, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Castagne; Witsel, Onana; Thorgan Hazard, De Bruyne, Eden Hazard; Batshuayi

Morocco XI: Bounou, Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui, Amrabat, Ounahi, Amallah, Ziyech, En Nesyri, Boufal

Full-time: Japan 0-1 Costa Rica

11:54 , Michael Jones

90+6 mins: Well, who was expecting that?

Costa Rica have nicked a three points away from Japan to keep their Group E hopes alive. They draw level with their opponents and Spain in the group and have the chance to qualify when they face Germany next week.

It’s a fantastic result for them. Keysher Fuller’s goal is the difference between the teams and he is Costa Rica’s hero today.

Japan 0-1 Costa Rica

11:52 , Michael Jones

90+3 mins: It’s not happening for Japan. They keep sending the ball into the Costa Rican box but the Central American side are dealing with everything.

Defensively it’s been a brilliant performance from them today.

Japan 0-1 Costa Rica

11:48 , Michael Jones

90 mins: Six minutes of added time to play.

Japan 0-1 Costa Rica

11:46 , Michael Jones

89 mins: Save! Mitoma does brilliantly on the left wing to carry the ball to the byline and pull it back into the box. The ball comes to Kamada who shoots and sees his effort kept out by the legs of Keylor Navas.

The ball then pinballs around the six-yard box before the goalkeeper grabs it under control.

Japan 0-1 Costa Rica

11:45 , Michael Jones

87 mins: If Costa Rica do go on to win this game it’ll have ramifications for the rest of the group and provide Germany with a lifeline.

Japan, Spain and Costa Rica will all have three points meaning the Germans could lose to Luis Enrique’s side later on and still potentially qualify for the next round.

It takes a lot of pressure away from Hansi Flick’s side.

Japan 0-1 Costa Rica

11:42 , Michael Jones

84 mins: After their 7-0 drubbing against Spain no-one was backing Costa Rica to get the job done against Japan today but they’ve defended resolutely and taken their opportunity when it came.

Can they hold on and claim all three points?

GOAL! Japan 0-1 Costa Rica (Fuller, 81’)

11:38 , Michael Jones

81 mins: Shock! Where has this come from?

Costa Rica have kept themselves in this game and take the lead after Yeltsin Tejeda recovers the ball high up the pitch. He slides a pass into the area to match Keysher Fuller’s run.

Fuller controls the ball and curls a shot over to the left side of the goal. Shichi Gonda gets two hands to the ball but can’t keep it out and Costa Rica have the lead with less than 10 minutes to play.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

11:36 , Michael Jones

76 mins: Junya Ito’s cross from the right side almost finds Kamada but it goes over his head and is safely booted out of play by Keysher Fuller.

The resultant corner comes swinging into the penalty area and gets nodded out for another set piece. Good pressure from Japan this.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

11:30 , Michael Jones

73 mins: Kamada drills Japan’s free kick right into the wall and Soma blasts the rebound back into the box only to have his own effort blocked.

Still no way through for Japan.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

11:29 , Michael Jones

72 mins: Francisco Calvo is a lucky, lucky man. Junya Ito receives the ball and spins away from Calvo before driving into the box. The Japanese striker has the chance to shoot but Calvo pulls him back and makes the foul mere inches outside the penalty area.

The referee pulls out a yellow card for the Costa Rican defender but it easily could have been red for denying a goalscoring opportunity.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

11:26 , Michael Jones

69 mins: 19-year-old midfielder Brandon Aguilera and 18-year-old Jewison Bennette are on for Costa Rica to give them some fresh legs and a bit of pace in transition.

Gerson Torres and Antony Contreras are the two men replaced.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

11:25 , Michael Jones

66 mins: Junya Ito has also come on. Hajime Moriyasu is properly going for the win now, he’s flooding the forward line with attackers but Japan still haven’t found a way to break Costa Rica down.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

11:21 , Michael Jones

63 mins: Yuki Soma hits it! He lifts the ball over the wall but can’t get it to dip in time and the effort sails over the crossbar.

Kaoru Mitoma is introduced for Japan to provide them with another attacking option.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

11:19 , Michael Jones

60 mins: Endo has come alive for Japan in this second half. He’s getting more time on the ball around the Costa Rica box and causing issues for the defence.

Cutting inside from the right Endo is brought down on the edge of the ‘D’ have Japan have a free kick in a dangerous area.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

11:15 , Michael Jones

57 mins: Chance! Yuki Soma receives the ball on the left wing and drives up to the box. He cuts inside and goes for goal but hooks his right footed effort well wide of the far post!

The effort was poor but it’s an encouraging sign from Japan.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

11:13 , Michael Jones

54 mins: Ito is penalised for a nudge in the back of Gerson Torres. Joel Campbell sends the free kick up towards the box with Kendall Watson the main target.

He finds himself well marked and the ball drops over his head before bouncing out for a goal kick.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

11:09 , Michael Jones

51 mins: Japan have had four shots in six minutes since the restart and are piling the pressure on Costa Rica who need to weather this storm. If Japan go ahead it will be difficult for the Central American side to respond.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

11:07 , Michael Jones

48 mins: Japan’s formation has changed to a 3-4-3 allowing them more options going forward. Wataru Endo now has a go from just inside the penalty area but his shot gets blocked.

Japan have upped the tempo considerably.

Second half: Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

11:05 , Michael Jones

Japan kick off the second half having made a couple of changes. Takuma Asano and Hiroki Ito being brought on.

Chance! Asano is called into action immediately and lays the ball off to Hidemasa Morita who drills a shot from the edge of the box and forces the save out of Keylor Navas.

Great start to the second half.

England manager Gareth Southgate would go ‘bonkers’ if he listened to World Cup criticism

11:00 , Michael Jones

Gareth Southgate believes he would be at risk of going “bonkers” if he chose to engage with the noise around England’s performances and the criticism of his selections and has maintained that he will keep doing things his way.

Southgate’s critics have grown louder over the past year, with England winning just one of their last eight games, and his side were booed at full time of Friday’s drab goalless draw with the United States.

That is despite the 52-year-old having led England to the latter stages of the last two major tournaments and remaining top of Group B, with only a point required against Wales on Tuesday to reach the last-16 of the World Cup.

After six years in the job, Southgate has grown used to having his every call questioned, but he has purposely shut himself off from the debate around his decisions while in Qatar in order to not let it influence him.

Gareth Southgate would go ‘bonkers’ if he listened to World Cup criticism

HT Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:56 , Michael Jones

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

HT Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:52 , Michael Jones

This hasn’t exactly been one for the neutrals. There’s been little danger and even less action in front of goal. Whoever scores first may go on to win this 1-0.

A draw keeps Costa Rica in the tournament so they will be happy. Their back five has really strengthened them defensively.

Half-time: Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:46 , Michael Jones

45+1 mins: The one added minute comes and goes before the whistle signals the end of the first half. Both teams need shaking at the break, this game needs more intensity and excitement.

It needs a goal.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:44 , Michael Jones

42 mins: That’s go with attritional over dull as the adjective to describe the first half.

That’s purely because Miki Yamane livens up proceedings by taking Joel Campbell out from behind and earning himself a yellow card.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:39 , Michael Jones

38 mins: Almost! Yuki Soma darts inside from the left and slides a pacey pass into the box where Daichi Kamada just needs to control the ball and turn to set up an opportunity at goal.

He takes his eye of the ball though and misses it meaning the chance goes begging as the ball rolls through to Keylor Navas instead.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:36 , Michael Jones

35 mins: Shot! Costa Rica haven’t offered much going forward and Joel Campbell wants to change that. The cross comes in from the right and gets nodded down.

It’s slipped to Campbell on the edge of the penalty area and he hits a left-footed effort with the outside of his boot, trying to curl it into the far top corner but his effort flies wide of the post!

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:34 , Michael Jones

33 mins: An aerial pass from Duarte comes over to Campbell on the left wing. He sends the ball inside to Bryan Oviedo and wants it back after starting an overlapping run behind the right-back.

Oviedo instead swings one into the box but Japan deal with it easily enough.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:32 , Michael Jones

30 mins: A clumsy challenge from Yuot Nagatomo sees Costa Rica win a free kick over on the right side of the pitch and Oscar Duarte takes it quickly.

He tries to catch Japan off guard but his cross into the penalty area doesn’t come close to a team mate and the chance comes to nought.

Decent idea though.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:28 , Michael Jones

27 mins: Just the one shot each so far as Japan try to work out a way through the Costa Rican back line.

 (PA)
(PA)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:26 , Michael Jones

24 mins: Japan look the most likely side to score but they haven’t created a clear chance yet. Kendall Watson is on hand to boot the ball away for Costa Rica as the Japanese look to strike down the left side.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:23 , Michael Jones

21 mins: A decent diagonal pass comes over to the left wing where Anthony Contreras controls the ball and drives up to the left edge of the Japan box.

He miscues his cross though and a promising Costa Rica attack dies down as Japan clear their lines.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:19 , Michael Jones

18 mins: Luis Fernando Suárez has set Costa Rica up with a back five today after their defensive issues against Spain making it almost impossible for Japan to get in behind with balls over the top.

Instead they need to utilise width and dainty runs into the box to challenge. Kamada slides a pass to the byline on the right side of the area as Miki Yamane comes flying around on the overlap.

He gets to the ball but can’t keep it in play.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:17 , Jack Rathborn

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (EPA)
(EPA)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:16 , Michael Jones

15 mins: Solid work from Oscar Duarte. Yuki Soma threatens to dribble his way into the penalty area from the left wing but as he starts to come inside Costa Rican defender Duarte leaps in front of him and boots the ball out of play with a perfectly timed sliding tackle.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:14 , Michael Jones

12 mins: It’s been a decent if not spectacular start from Costa Rica. Joel Campbell looks lively and strong high up the pitch and they have a few players willing to make runs in behind.

Nearly. The Japanese fans erupt in song as Doan carries the ball into the right side of the penalty area. He shrugss off a tackle and fizzes a low pass into the six-yard area but there’s no-one around to turn it towards goal.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:09 , Michael Jones

9 mins: Close! Japan bring the ball down the left wing and send a teasing pass into the box as Daichi Kamada makes a run through the lines. He sticks out a right leg but can’t reach the ball as is skips through to Keylor Navas in Costa Rica’s goal.

That could have been a dangerous one for the Central American side.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:06 , Michael Jones

6 mins: Nice work from Joel Campbell who takes a pass and spins towards the Japan final third. He shifts it inside and avoids a tackle before getting fouled on the left side of the pitch.

Costa Rica’s resultant free kick is curled into the penalty area but goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda comes out and claims the ball.

Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:03 , Michael Jones

3 mins: Costa Rica defend the corner well enough but Japan recover the ball. The work it over to the right side as Costa Rica’s defence push out to press them.

Ritsu Doan receives the ball on the inside right and he cuts to his left before lacing a shot well wide of the far post.

Kick off: Japan 0-0 Costa Rica

10:01 , Michael Jones

Costa Rica get the ball rolling to start this Group E fixture. They send the ball up the pitch but it’s won by Japan who burst forward down the left and win themselves an early corner.

Japan vs Costa Rica

09:54 , Michael Jones

Here come the players.

Costa Rica are hoping to bounce back from their embarrassing loss to Spain last time out. They shipped seven goals in that game but will fancy themselves against Japan this morning.

Japan know that a win will give them a fantastic chance of reaching the last 16. That will be there goal for today.

Kick off is next...

Japan vs Costa Rica

09:52 , Michael Jones

Kick off is fast approaching with the players having completed their warm-ups. Which way will this game go?

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Japan vs Costa Rica

09:48 , Michael Jones

Against Spain, Costa Rica didn’t manage a single shot, with this being the second instance of a side failing to record a shot in a World Cup match since Opta has had this data (from 1966).

The other occasion was also Costa Rica when they faced against Brazil in 1990.

Meanwhile, Japan faced 26 shots in their 2022 World Cup opener against Germany, the most they have ever faced in a match at the tournament.

Japan vs Costa Rica

09:44 , Michael Jones

Since beating both Uruguay and Italy in their group in 2014, Costa Rica are winless in seven World Cup games with four draws and three losses.

They have failed to score in five of those matches.

Costa Rica lost their opening match 7-0 to Spain, conceding as many goals in that match as their previous eight games at the tournament combined beforehand.

Japan vs Costa Rica

09:40 , Michael Jones

After beating Germany 2-1, Japan are looking to win back-to-back World Cup matches for the first time since 2002 when they defeated Russia and Tunisia.

They have never won both of their first two fixtures of a single edition at the World Cup finals.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

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