In a do-or-die day at the Qatar World Cup, Germany took care of business against Costa Rica 4-2, but the result was not enough to advance to the round of 16. Spain, on the other hand, managed to finish second in Group E and advance despite an unexpected defeat against Japan.
Japan beat a Spain team that did not bring its best performance. However, Spain's 7-0 win over Costa Rica in their first match gave them a significant cushion in goal differential (the group stage tiebreaker), which ultimately carried them through to the next round after finishing level on points with Germany.
Germany disappoints again
Germany, one of the favorites to win the tournament, was knocked out of the tournament in the group stage after a sterile victory over Costa Rica. It is the second consecutive World Cup in which the Germans have failed to advance to the round of 16.
Havertz's double gives Germany the victory and they need a goal from Spain to stay alive in the World Cup. pic.twitter.com/KqB86C9SY8
- Pablo Giralt (@giraltpablo) December 1, 2022
Serge Gnabry, Kai Harvetz (twice) and Niclas Fullkrug scored for the Germans, and Teltsin Tejeda and Juan Pablo Vargas scored for Costa Rican.
"Los Ticos" came into the match with three points, so a win or a draw could have put them in the next round, while the Germans, who had just one, needed to win.
Spain's seemingly easy path was not so
Against all odds, Japan defeated Spain and snatched the group's top spot. The Japanese will face Croatia in the round of 16 and Spain will face Morocco, undoubtedly one of the surprises of the tournament so far.
Luis Enrique's team was momentarily poised to be out of the World Cup after Costa Rica's goal, but Germany's eventual goals put them back in contention.
JAPAN 🇯 2-1 🇪🇦 SPAIN
⚽ 51' Ao Tanaka 🇯🇵#FIFAWorldCuppic.twitter.com/D0kEAa7myN
- All goals replay (@goalsreplayg) December 1, 2022
One of the most controversial moments of the match occurred with Japan's second goal, when the ball appeared to have gone out of bounds before entering the goal. However, the goal was checked by the VAR, which confirmed the score.
- Soccer on Movistar Plus+ (@MovistarFutbol) December 1, 2022