Germany have failed to make it out of the group stage for the second successive World Cup, being eliminated on goal difference compared to Spain, who finish second to another surprise group-winner in Japan.
Japan shocked Germany to begin their campaign, staging a second-half comeback to win 2-1, and they followed the same script today against Spain, who still advance thanks to Costa Rica’s defeat. César Azpilicueta and Álvaro Morata recreated their Chelsea connection to give Spain the early lead, but Japan changed things at the break and stormed back to take the deserved three points and top seed (which, ironically, gets them Croatia instead of another surprise group winner in Morocco in the next round).
Top down and in play by the smallest of margins. pic.twitter.com/JGKeIt7DtS— Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) December 1, 2022
Azpilicueta was taken off at the half for some reason — appeared tactical rather than injury-enforced — and Spain were simply not at the races in that second half. They will face Hakim Ziyech and Morocco in the Round of 16.
Germany also took an early lead before a rare error from Manuel Neuer gifted Costa Rica an equalizer early in the second half. The Ticos then took the lead, which would’ve put them in to the Last 16 with a Spain victory, but a Havertz-inspired Germany stormed back, with the Chelsea man grabbing a 20-minute brace after coming on and Niclas Füllkrug adding a fourth — though it was far too late to overcome Spain’s far superior goal difference (thanks to their opening game 7-0 hammering of Costa Rica).
Germany 2-2— Fast GøaIs (@i6astv) December 1, 2022
KAI HAVERTZ HAS EQUALIZED! GREAT NEWS FOR SPAIN!pic.twitter.com/L8fF6KgokE