Germany knocked out of World Cup after extraordinary finale to Group E


Germany crashed out of the 2022 World Cup on Thursday after an extraordinary finish to Group E, despite beating Costa Rica.

In various areas of the two games, fans of Spain and Japan, as well as Costa Rica and Germany, each thought their countries were on the road for a period of knocking.

All from Spain in the first half and leading to Alvaro Morata’s first-half goal, somehow defied Japan to win 2-1 and put the ball on top.

Japan’s two goals – from Ritsu Dōan and Ao Tanaka – came in the space of three minutes early in the second half.

Germany won 4-2 against Costa Rica, although trailing by one point, but not enough to advance to the last 16 with Japan and Spain.

Germany coach Hans Flick said it was a “huge disappointment” for the Germany squad.

“In the first half I was disappointed and very angry at my team and how the opponent allowed it to come back,” Flick said, according to Reuters.

“We wanted to score three or four goals in the first half but then we made a mistake. If they had converted 16 of those chances.

“But the tournament did not go our way today. We didn’t have any efficiency in this tournament and that’s why we’re depressed.”

Conclusion to Group E means Japan will face Croatia in the next round, while Spain will play Morocco.

The evening was momentous for another reason – Stephanie Frappart became the first woman to referee a men’s World Cup match.

Alongside assistants Neuza Back from Brazil and Karen Diaz from Mexico, the French referee was part of an all-female trio overseeing the match between Germany and Costa Rica.

Germany's players leave the pitch after they failed to qualify for the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup.

Nine goals, controversial VAR decisions, and a four-time World Cup winner from a dramatic competition to the group stage as Germany were in Russia 2018 — these two Group E games will live long in the memory.

Just hours after one of Europe’s heavyweights, Belgium, was knocked out, Spain and Germany threw down the gauntlet against Japan and Costa Rica, two teams that were written off by most football experts as having little chance of reaching the last 16 before the World Cup. He started the cup.

Despite those predictions, this evening was a start with the possibility that all four teams could advance to the next level.

Within a quarter of an hour of the opening of both games, both Europeans were waiting for the intended progress from the group.

At the Al Bayt Stadium, Serge Gnabry headed home in the 10th minute to give Germany a vital lead as they battle to boost their hopes after a poor start to their campaign, with a surprise loss to Japan.

Over at the Khalifa International Stadium, Morata headed home a superb cross from César Azpilicueta’s right back to put Spain ahead.

In doing so, Morata became the second player to score in his first three World Cup appearances for Spain, after Telmo Zarra in 1950, according to Opta.

After the goal, with both sides of Europe in absolutely sitting positions, Spain and Germany dominated the rest of the first half of the action, with Spain having 78% of possession while Germany had 65%, while the opposition’s ball slots were limited respectively.

But the superiority of the European teams is soon to be challenged – within minutes of the start of the second half in both games, the situation in the group has completely changed.

In the impressive victory over Germany, Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu used his substitutes masterfully, bringing on Dōan and a left-footed shot that brought Japan level.

Moments later, Tanaka gave Samurai Blue a lead boost that added to the group’s crisis.

Tanaka’s end did not come without controversy. A VAR review ruled that the ball had not gone out of play before Tanaka fired home a cross for a goal.

Wataru Endo celebrates with his teammates after Japan qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup.

As things turned out, nothing was swelling – and completely against the course of the game – Costa Rica leveled the scores against Germany as Yeltsin Tejeda smashed home the rebound after Manuel Neuer failed to hold on to a strong effort from Kendall Waston.

But the mathematical minds of the coaches, players and fans were just beginning.

Costa Rica took a stunning lead as Juan Pablo Vargas headed home after a furious goalmouth scramble to leave Germany trailing.

With just over 20 minutes remaining in the two games, Spain and Germany – both recent World Cup winners – were in danger of going home.

Costa Rica’s hopes were quickly dashed as a quick-fire double from substitute Kai Havertz and late Niclas Füllkrug saved Germany’s goal – after a rollercoaster evening – to claim the three points.

However, Spain’s 7-0 win over Costa Rica in their first group game – thereby ensuring a healthy goal difference – already proved life-saving for Luis Enrique’s side, condemning them from the group and Germany to finish third.

In Germany, the goal of Spain is most necessary to get back on its feet. But Spain couldn’t break down Japan’s staunch defense and never really troubled Shuichi Gonda on goal, despite seven minutes of added time.

After going through thanks to goal difference, Spain coach Enrique was critical of his side’s performance.

“I am not happy at all. We are also qualified, I would like to win this game. This was impossible because in five minutes, Japan scored two goals … we were defeated,” Enrique said in a press conference, according to Reuters.


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