In a day of big upsets in the FIFA World Cup 2022, four-time World Champions Germany have crashed out of the tournament despite their 4-2 win over Costa Rica. In the end, it was Germany’s lackluster start to the campaign that saw them bow out as Japan’s 2-1 win over Spain in the other group match propelled them to the exit door. In another big upset of the day, Belgium’s draw against Croatia saw them get knocked out as well having finished third in their group.
Germany face back-to-back World Cup Group stage exits
Germany suffered a second consecutive World Cup group-stage exit despite a thrilling 4-2 win over Costa Rica on a night of sensational Group E drama in Qatar. After collecting just one point from their opening two games, four-time world champions Germany - who also exited at the group stage in 2018 - knew only a victory at Al Bayt Stadium on Thursday night would give them any chance of progressing to the last 16.
But despite securing the result they needed, Japan scored a controversial winner to beat Spain and send Hansi Flick's side out of the tournament due to the Spaniards' superior goal difference.
Japan win courtesy of controversial goal
Japan pulled off another historic World Cup upset as a hugely controversial goal saw them come from behind to beat Spain 2-1 and claim top spot in Group E, with Luis Enrique's side needing goal difference to advance as runners-up ahead of Germany. Spain were utterly dominant in the first half at the Khalifa International Stadium and looked set to advance in first place after Alvaro Morata headed home his third goal of the tournament (11).
Belgium’s golden era’s final outing?
Romelu Lukaku hit a post and missed a string of chances as Belgium's 'golden generation' were knocked out of the World Cup, their 0-0 draw with Croatia sending the 2018 runners-up into the last 16 with Group F winners Morocco.
Roberto Martinez's side finished third four years ago and led the world rankings until recently but his ageing squad were well off the pace in Qatar and, despite an improvement in the second half which led to a series of openings for Lukaku, they couldn't come up with the win they needed due to Morocco's victory over Canada.
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Morocco win Group F
First-half goals from Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesyri helped Morocco to a 2-1 win over Canada that saw them secure top spot in Group F and a place in the last 16 of the World Cup for the first time in 36 years.
Morocco were drawn in a tricky group, including Croatia and Belgium, who finished second and third in 2018 respectively, but took four points off the European sides before holding on for victory against Canada in their final group game.