Germany crash out of 2022 FIFA World Cup despite Costa Rica victory

Germany crash out of 2022 FIFA World Cup despite Costa Rica victory

Germany crashed out of the FIFA World Cup for the second tournament in a row at Qatar 2022 despite winning their last group game 4-2 against Costa Rica. Late goals from Kai Havertz and Niclas Fullkrug helped the four-time champions avoid another shock defeat in the group, but all three points were not enough to keep them from being eliminated before the knockout stages.

Japan’s victory against Spain left Hansi Flick’s side rooted in third position on the table, missing out on the final 16 to their continental rivals due to an inferior goal difference. 

Germany needed all three points and other results to go their way in their final group fixture against Costa Rica and the 2014 champions started on the front foot, taking the lead inside ten minutes. Serge Gnabry’s glancing header from David Raum’s cross put the Germans in front, and Hansi Flick’s side largely controlled the proceedings throughout the first period, with Goretzka and Gnarby going close to finding a second.

The only scare came in the dying moments before half-time when Manuel Neuer had to produce a reaction save to deny Keysher Fuller. Germany were temporarily in the knockout stages at the break, with Spain also winning 1-0 over Japan in the other Group E fixture. However, the Asian side scored two quick goals after the break to push the four-time champions to number three in the group and their problems deepened in the 57th minute when Costa Rica drew level through Yeltsin Tejeda.

In a dramatic series of events, Germany struck the post on three occasions in ten minutes following the equaliser before Costa Rica scored at the end against the run of play via an own goal from Manuel Neuer. However, there was another twist in the tale as Germany produced an instant response in the final 20 minutes to put the game to bed.

Substitute Kai Havertz drew the scores level three minutes later from Niclas Fullkrug’s flick-on before adding a third five minutes before the final whistle, arriving in the box at the perfect time to tap in Serge Gnabry’s cross. Germany added a fourth through Niclas Fullkrug before the final whistle but succumbed to another disappointing group stage exit following Japan’s miraculous 2-1 victory over Spain at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Germany finished in third place with four points, while Spain qualify due to their superior goal difference and will play Morocco in the round of 16. Japan, meanwhile, emerged as group winners with six points and will take on 2018 finalists Croatia in the first knockout round.