Four-time winners Germany went out of the World Cup after beating Costa Rica 4-2 in their last Group E encounter on Thursday. Germany’s World Cup dream shattered despite beating Costa Rica. Germany arrived in Qatar determined to recover from their 2018 group-stage exit. Instead, they finished third, tied with Spain on four points but down on goal difference and headed home early. Japan won Group E with six points after beating Spain 2-1 and will face Croatia in the final 16.
Spain will play Morocco. Costa Rica had 3 points. On a night of unremitting drama in the desert outside Doha, the Germans scored first with Serge Gnabry. Still, the Central Americans scored again with Yeltsin Tejeda and Manuel Neuer’s own goal before a Kai Havertz brace put them back in front. Niclas Fuellkrug’s late goal wasn’t enough to extend Sweden’s World Cup run.
Germany’s World Cup dream shattered despite beating Costa Rica
It was the first time in Germany’s World Cup history that they lost their opening two group matches. They will leave Qatar with their heads down despite winning their last encounter. Germany was close to elimination after losing to Japan and drawing with Spain.
Needing a win to avoid a repetition of 2018, Germany sought an early goal to calm their jitters. In the second minute, Jamal Musiala and an unmarked Joshua Kimmich picked out Thomas Mueller, but he missed his header.
Gnabry’s 10th-minute header put them ahead. Costa Rica, requiring a point to advance, barely entered German territory in the first half. The Germans were keen to make up for their terrible start to the tournament, but they continued missing chances, as in the previous two group encounters.
Keyser Fuller capitalized on a double defensive blunder, but Neuer deflected his shot over the bar for his 19th World Cup appearance. As Germany’s group standings flashed on the Al Bayt stadium’s colossal screen, Musiala twice hit the post in the second half. Neuer failed. Tejeda scored 13 minutes after the restart after Waston’s header was saved.
Juan Pablo Vargas appeared to score in the 70th minute, but it was ruled a Neuer own goal. Havertz struck twice in 12 minutes, and Fuellkrug scored in stoppage time, but it was too late for Germany, who will host Euro 2024 after three consecutive flops.
“There are so many reasons but I am not looking for excuses,” said Germany coach Hansi Flick.
“In the first half, I was disappointed and furious at my team and how we allowed the opponent to come back.
“We wanted to score three or four goals in the first half, but then we made mistakes if we had converted those chances, 16 of them.
“But the tournament was not decided today for us. We did not have any efficiency at this tournament and that is why we were eliminated.”