Germany is out of the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 after Japan beats Spain and takes first place in Group E, which Germany was in. Before this Thursday’s games, none of Spain, Germany, Japan, or Costa Rica were sure to make it to the Round of 16.
Both the first halves of Costa Rica vs. Germany and Spain vs. Japan went as expected. After 45 minutes, Spain and Germany each had a 1-0 lead. Both goals were scored in the tenth minute. Spain’s striker Alvaro Morata scored from close range to the right of Japan’s goalkeeper Shichi Gonda.
Serge Gnabry scored Germany’s first goal with a header after David Raum crossed the ball in a smooth way. In the second half, Japan turned the game on its head almost right away. Substitute Ritsu Doan hit a long shot at Spain goalie Unai Simon, who deflected it into the back of the net.
Just a few minutes later, Japan sent a low cross flying across the Spanish box, forcing Kaoru Mitoma to desperately try to get it back infield at the byline. The pass came back to Ao Tanaka on the field, and he pushed the ball over the line.
At first glance, it looked like the ball had crossed the byline before Mitoma passed it back to Tanaka. However, a VAR review controversially gave the goal to Japan, making the score 2-1. This made the Japanese fans in the stadium very happy.
Spain had the ball most of the time and worked hard to get an equalizer, so Japan had to keep its defense strong.
Takehiro Tomiyasu, a defender for Arsenal, came on to help Japan, and they did a great job of defending, clearing cross after cross into their box while their goalkeeper made some great saves to keep their hopes alive.
In the second half of the game between Costa Rica and Germany, the Central American team made a brave comeback. In the 58th minute, Yeltsin Tejeda scored an equalizing goal by putting the ball in the net after Manuel Neuer had blocked it. Just over ten minutes later, Costa Rica took the lead against all odds when Juan Pablo Vargas headed the ball into his own net off Neuer.
With both Japan and Costa Rica in the lead, it looked like football powerhouses Germany and Spain would not qualify for the Round of 16. But Costa Rica’s joy didn’t last long, as Germany quickly tied it up through Chelsea forward Kai Havertz, making the score 2-2.
Havertz scored on a cross from Serge Gnabry with five minutes left in regulation time to give Germany the lead and make it 2-0. Four minutes later, substitute striker Niclas Fullkrug got on the end of Leroy Sane’s pass into the box and put it in the back of the net to make it 4–2.
Amazingly, Japan kept Spain from scoring in the second half, giving them a 2-1 win that put them at the top of their group with six points and sent them to the Round of 16.
Germany’s win put them on the same number of points as Spain, but Spain’s big 7-0 win over Costa Rica in their first game was the deciding factor, putting the 2010 World Cup champions in second place in Group E.
In the Round of 16, Japan will play Croatia at the Al Janoub stadium at 4 a.m. on Tuesday, December 6. In the next round, Spain will play Morocco at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, December 7 at the Education City Stadium.