Maya manages 90 in Costa Rica clash

By SFC Media time Tue 03 Jun First team

Maya Yoshida played the entire match as Japan sealed a 3-1 friendly victory over fellow 2014 World Cup side Costa Rica in Tampa overnight.

The Saints centre-back stepped up his recovery from a knee injury further after initially making his return in a 1-0 win over Cyprus as the Japanese prepare for this summer’s instalment of football’s largest international tournament.

It was the first time Yoshida had managed 90 minutes since suffering the ligament damage in training just over a month after making his most recent Southampton appearance – a 3-1 loss to West Ham in which he scored.

Despite Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz netting the opener for Costa Rica just after the half-hour mark, Yoshida helped keep the Japan defence tight as another fellow Premier League player, Shinji Kagawa, was among those who overturned the deficit and sent Alberto Zaccheroni’s side on the road to another friendly scalp.

Maya and his nation’s pre-World Cup fixtures draw to a close with Saturday’s match with Zambia – another meeting to be held in Tampa before Japan begin their World Cup Group C campaign against Ivory Coast, Colombia and Greece.

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