Africa-Press – Lesotho. Four-time champions Germany have crashed out of the football World Cup in Qatar in the group stage, despite a 4-2 victory over Costa Rica. The elimination on Thursday came as Japan stunned Spain 2-1 in the other Group E match, a result that handed those two teams a spot in the Round of 16.
Germany and Spain both took early leads in their games, results which would have put Hansi Flick’s side through. But it all changed in the second half, with Japan scoring two quick goals against the Spaniards.
Costa Rica also equalised against Germany who then hit the post three times before Juan Vargas put the Central Americans ahead. That would have put Costa Rica through at the expense of Spain but substitute Kai Havertz scored twice and Niclas Fullkrug got another goal.
It is the second World Cup in a row in which Germany have been eliminated in the group stage. Germany finished third in the Group E standings, behind Spain on goal difference, with Japan top following their 2-1 win over the Spaniards.
Three of the four match officials – France’s Stephanie Frappart, Brazil’s Neuza Back and Mexico’s Karen Diaz Medina – were women. “In the first half I was disappointed and very angry at my team and how we allowed the opponent to come back,” said Germany coach Hansi Flick.
“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. ”Germany were teetering on the brink of elimination going into the game, after losing their opening group match to Japan and then snatching a 1-1 draw against Spain.