Football   |   January 9, 2023

Germany Suffers a Second Consecutive World Cup Group Stage Exit Despite Defeating Costa Rica

Germany defeated Costa Rica 4-2 but again exited the World Cup at the group stage. Japan’s 2-1 victory over Spain eliminates Hansi Flick’s squad based on goal difference from the tournament. Spain finishes as the tournament’s runner-up as Japan advances to the round of 16 as Group E champion. Along with Germany, Costa Rica exits the competition after finishing last in Group E with three points.

Leroy Sane replaced Thilo Kehrer as Germany’s manager Hansi Flick opted for a more offensive formation. Thomas Muller maintained his position against Spain despite Niclas Fullkrug’s late equalizer. 

Juan Pablo Vargas replaced suspended defender Francisco Calvo as one of three substitutions made by Costa Rica head coach Luis Fernando Suarez. Additionally, Brandon Aguilera and Johan Venegas came into the starting lineup. Gerson Torres and Anthony Contreras were on the bench.

German, the Four-Time World Cup Champions, Again Exit at the Group Stage for the Second Time 

Despite a thrilling 4-2 victory over Costa Rica on a night of sensational Group E drama in Qatar, Germany exited the World Cup for a second consecutive tournament. 

The four-time world champions also failed to advance from the group stage in 2018. Germany needed a victory at Al Bayt Stadium on Thursday night to advance to the round of 16. They had managed to accumulate just one point from their opening two matches.

Germany appeared to be on their way to a comfortable three points after Serge Gnabry scored on a header in the 10th minute. However, a second-half goal from Yeltsin Tejeda in the 58th minute and an own goal from Manuel Neuer in the 70th minute put Costa Rica in pole position to qualify for the round of 16. Manuel Neuer’s goal raised the possibility of both Germany’s and Spain’s elimination.

The dramatic tension, however, was not over after that. Kai Havertz, a substitute forward for Chelsea and Germany, turned the game around with a brace (73 and 85) before Niclas Fullkrug made it 4 – 2 in the 89th minute. However, the victory was not enough, as the 2014 champions finished third in Group E behind Spain and Japan. 

Stephanie Frappart of France became the first woman to referee a men’s World Cup match during this match. On-field assistants Neuza Back of Brazil and Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico formed an all-female field crew. 

Flick’s coaching position in German football is now in jeopardy due to Germany’s early elimination from the tournament. Longtime international players such as Antonio Rudiger, Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze, Manuel Neuer, and Ilkay Gundogan may have also reached the end of their careers. With Germany set to host Euro 2024 in less than 18 months, the urge to rebuild the team around young talents like Kai Havertz and Jamal Musiala has become undeniable. 

The heroes of Germany’s 2014 World Cup run have moved on, and this World Cup marks the end of an era. The world is yet to see if the younger generation can emulate them.

Costa Rica 2 – 4 Germany: Player Ratings

Costa Rica: Keylor Navas (7), Kendall Waston (6), Oscar Duarte (6), Juan Pablo Vargas (6), Celso Borges (6), Keysher Fuller (6), Yeltsin Tejeda (7), Brandon Aguilera (6), Bryan Oviedo (6), Joel Campbell (6), and Johan Venegas (6).

Substitutes: Youstin Salas (6), Ronald Matarrita (6), Jewison Bennette (6), Roan Wilson (N/A), and Anthony Contreras (N/A).

Germany: Manuel Neuer (6), Sule (6), Joshua Kimmich (7), Antonio Rudiger (6), Ilkay Gundogan (6), David Raum (7), Leon Goretzka (6), Jamal Musiala (8), Serge Gnabry (8), Leroy Sane (7), and Thomas Muller (6).

Substitutes: Lukas Klostermann (6), Mario Gotze (6), Niclas Fullkrug (7), Kai Havertz (8), and Matthias Ginter (N/A).

Kai Havertz: The player of the match.

What’s Next?

Group E champions Japan finished with six points. They will face Group F runner-up Croatia on Monday at 3 p.m. in the round of 16. 

Spain finishes second with four points, edging out Germany on goal difference. Luis Enrique’s side will face Group F champions Morocco in the round of 16 on Tuesday at 3 p.m. 

The World Cup for Los Ticos is over. However, they will compete in the CONCACAF Nations League as the winter months close, traveling to Martinique on March 25th. 

Germany is out of the World Cup group stage for the second consecutive tournament. The German national team has no upcoming matches scheduled.