FIFA World Cup: Germany out of World Cup despite victory over Costa Rica

Four-time champions Germany crashed out of the FIFA World Cup group stage for the second time in a row despite a 4-2 win over Costa Rica here on Thursday night. Even this win was not enough to take Germany into the Round of 16. Japan’s 2-1 victory over Spain in the group saw both these teams advance to the next round. Japan topped Group E. Germany coach Hansi Flick said, “I was in the ‘chasing room’ because you can imagine the frustration is so great.” In the last World Cup, even as the defending champions, the German team was eliminated from the group stage.

Germany were defeated by Japan in their opening match in Qatar and needed a win at the Al Bayt Stadium and a result in the second match to go their way to progress to the next round. If the Spanish team had defeated Japan, the German team would have finished second in the group. Serge Gnabry put Germany ahead in the 10th minute with a header. And interestingly, the second match of the group also saw Spain take the lead against Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

But the result of both the group matches changed in the second half. Yeltsin Tejeda equalized for Costa Rica in the 58th minute. Then in the 70th minute, an own goal by German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer put Costa Rica ahead 2–1. But Germany’s substitute Kai Havertz helped make the score 2–2 three minutes later and then put the team ahead 3–2 in the 85th minute. Another Germany substitute, Niklas Fulkrug, scored the fourth goal in the 89th minute. Japan topped Group E with six points. She was two points ahead of both Spain and Germany.

Also read: FIFA World Cup 2022: Spain beat Japan, qualified for Round of 16

Spain advanced to the round of 16 on the back of superior goal difference, which was played a key role in their 7–0 victory over Costa Rica. Spain will now face Morocco in the Round of 16 while Japan will take on Croatia. Germany needed five more goals to draw level with Spain. The match was also significant because Stéphanie Fraupart of France became the first female referee to officiate at the Men’s World Cup.

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