By Chris King •
Updated: 01 Dec 2022 • 23:21
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The biggest shock of the 2022 World Cup ocurred in the Al Bayt Stadium this evening, Thursday, December 1, as Germany were knocked out of the tournament. Despite beating Costa Rica 4-2, the fact that Spain lost 2-1 against Japan meant that the Japanese would qualify for the last 16.
This is the second successive World Cup that the Germans have been eliminated in the group stages. Hansi Flick’s team had to win the match to have any change of going through. They totally controlled the match until Costa Rica suddenly turned the match on its head.
A Serge Gnabry header put the Germans ahead after just 10 minutes only for Yeltsin Tejeda to level the scores in the 58th minute. He was first to react and put away the rebound after Manuel Neuer had parried a header from Kendall Waston. The goal has caused controversy as to whether the ball had actually gone out of plao or not in the build up.
Incredibly, Juan Pablo Vargas put the Costa Ricans in front two minutes later and Germany looked dead and buried, while the underdogs looked to be heading for qualification.
Kai Havertz netted twice after coming on as a substitute, with Niclas Fullkrug bagging a fourth for the Germans in the dying minutes.
Japan killed off Costa Rica’s hopes though by defeating Spain 2-1 in the Khalifa International Stadium.It means they reached the knockout stage for the first time in their footballing history. Spain meanwhile only scraped through in second place on goal difference.
Alvaro Morata scored once again for the Spaniards, setting them on their way in the 11th minute. Ritsu Doan levelled the scores after 48 minutes with a powerful effort from the edge of the box. It turned into a disaster for Costa Rica when Ao Tanaka netted for Japan in the 51st minute.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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