Germany hope of sealing a round of 16 ticket vanished on Thursday despite the team’s 4-2 victory over Costa Rica in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The four-time champions beat Costa Rice 4-2 Thursday but it wasn’t enough to advance to the round of 16. Japan’s 2-1 victory over Spain allowed both of those teams to advance instead, with the Japanese team at the top of the group.
Germany were in complete control and in front through Serge Gnabry’s 10th-minute header only for Costa Rica to turn the match on its head to raise the remarkable possibility of Spain also going out.
Yeltsin Tejeda equalised after Germany keeper Manuel Neuer pushed out Kendall Waston’s header in the 58th minute, before Juan Pablo Vargas bundled in a second 12 minutes later.
It would have capped one of the most astonishing nights in World Cup history, but Germany substitute Kai Havertz restored a measure of normality to proceedings with two clinical finishes to extinguish Costa Rica’s hopes of springing a major shock.
Substitute Niclas Fullkrug added a last-minute fourth to confirm victory, but it will be of no consolation as Germany failed to reach the knockout stage of the tournament for the second time in succession.
Meanwhile, Japan and Spain have qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup as Group E winners after a shock 2-1 win over Spain.
Alvaro Morata’s header gave La Roja the lead in the first half, but two quickfire goals from Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka after the break were enough for Hajime Moriyasu’s side to seal Japan’s place in the knockout stages.
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