Japan has knocked Germany out of the FIFA World Cup
Germany has been eliminated from the World Cup after the group stage for the second time in a row. Hansi Flick's side could only manage a 4-2 victory over Costa Rica as Japan bounced back from Spain.
Germany Vs. Costa Rica on Dec 01, 2022 (Thursday)
Despite a thrilling 4-2 win over unseeded Costa Rica, Germany crashed out of the Qatar World Cup at the first hurdle, just four years after South Korea knocked them out of Russia in 2018.
Germany Team’s Response
"For me, this is an absolute catastrophe," Germany forward Thomas Müller, 33, told German network ARD after the game before announcing his retirement from international football. "If this was my last game, I would like to thank my fans for their support over the years. I have always tried to play my heart out on the pitch."
Germany departed with the memory of Russia in its thoughts. Müller sent in a simple header before Serge Gnabry scored with a more challenging header in 10 minutes.
But, once again, Hansi Flick's side were useless in front of goal and increasingly slowed on and off the ball as the first half wore on, forcing Manuel Neuer into a brilliant save shortly before the break.
Germany also failed to learn their lesson and was penalized after 58 minutes. The midfield lost possession, Neuer fumbled a header, and Yeltsin Tejeda bundled home from close range.
"We didn't crash out today; we crashed out for 20 minutes against Japan," Flick told ARD. "We had a lack of performance, which got us fired."
Japan Shocked Spain
Meanwhile, the other Group E game ended in an even more dramatic fashion. Alvaro Morata's early strike was parried by Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka as Japan topped the group, with Germany trailing Spain on goal difference.
However, Group E's surprises did not stop there. After Germany hit the post three times in a row, Juan Pablo Vargas tapped home a loose ball after Germany failed to clear a free kick.
Costa Rica and Japan qualified from a group that briefly included Germany and 2010 winners Spain. However, at 73 minutes, substitute Kai Huertz finished off Keylor Navas to allow Spain to grab their second, send Costa Rica out and give Germany a glimmer of hope.
That sliver went wide in the 85th minute when Havertz added another to re-establish Germany's lead before Phil Krug added a fourth four minutes later. However, they still needed Spain to find an equalizer.
They couldn't because there was little incentive to do so. Germany's early defeat against Japan cost them dearly.
Group E's Scoreboard