Needing a win and a favor from Spain, Germany took on Group E rivals Costa Rica in their final 2022 FIFA World Cup match on Thursday night (1 December). Die Mannschaft managed to secure a 4-2 win in their Group E clash, but Spain’s shock 2-1 defeat to Japan caused them to crash out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Garnering four points from three games, Germany finished in third place in the Group E standings. Spain, who also bagged four points, secured round-of-16 football due to their superior goal difference. Japan, with six points, qualified for the last 16 as Group E winners.
Hansi Flick’s side enjoyed a dream start to the game, with them going in front after 10 minutes of play. Jamal Musiala carried the ball into the final third and passed it wide to David Raum, who delivered a tasty ball for Gnabry to head in. Six minutes before halftime, Gnabry once again went for Keylor Navas’ goal, narrowly failing to find the top corner with his curler.
In the 58th minute, the Ticos equalized, with Tejeda turning in the rebound after Neuer failed to collect Kendall Waston’s straightforward header. Between the 61st and 68th minutes, Germany hit the post thrice. Musiala was denied by the woodwork twice and Rudiger once.
No one on earth predicted Japan topping a group with Germany and Spain and Morocco topping a group with Belgium and Croatia, this World Cup is one for the history books man
In the 70th minute, Costa Rica found themselves on cloud nine when Juan Pablo Vargas’ flick took a deflection off Neuer and nestled into the back of the German net. Their joy, however, was shortlived as substitute Havertz equalized for the four-time FIFA World Cup winners just three minutes later.
Six minutes later, Fullkrug got on the end of a cross and went for goal with a remarkable strike. Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Navas heroically pushed his effort over the bar. Five minutes from 90, Germany finally found the goal they were looking for. Havertz arrived late on the left side of the Costa Rican box to finish off Gnabry’s delivery from the right.
Three minutes after scoring their third, the 2014 FIFA World Cup winners scored their final goal in Qatar, with Fullkrug turning in Leroy Sane’s chested pass from point-blank range.
It was not a night to remember for Thomas Muller and Co., but there are some players who deserve to get a shoutout for their display. Here are five Mannschaft players who stood out as their team crashed out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Thursday:
#5 Niclas Fullkrug
Coming off the bench in the 55th minute, Niclas Fullkrug quickly became the focal point of Germany’s attack. He put pressure on the Costa Rican defense with his smart runs, created space for his teammates to pounce on, and pitched in with a goal and an assist.
Niclas Füllkrug’s WM Statistik:
Von der Bank.
In the 73rd minute, he cleverly flicked the ball into Havertz’s path, allowing him to finish from close range. Sixteen minutes later, he scored his second goal in Qatar, directing Sane’s pass into the back of Navas’s net.
Playing his third FIFA World Cup game, Fullkrug also played a key pass, created a big chance, and won an aerial duel.
#4 Joshua Kimmich
Joshua Kimmich was deployed as a right-back against Costa Rica. The Bayern Munich maestro expertly commanded the right flank, striking the perfect balance between attack and defense. His passes were crisp, he performed some vital defensive actions, and created one chance after another for his teammates.
Kimmich with great frustration and sadness holds back his tears.
“This is the worst day of my career. We made mistakes in the 2018 World Cup, and then we screwed up the Euros last year. I’m afraid of falling into a black hole now.” [@BILD]
On Thursday night, Kimmich played a game-high six key passes, created three big chances, delivered 10 accurate long balls, and completed a staggering 109 passes (93.2% accuracy). Coming to defending, he made two interceptions, won three ground duels, and attempted two tackles.
#3 Serge Gnabry
Bayern Munich ace Serge Gnabry looked lively against Costa Rica on Thursday, hitting the back of the net once and claiming an assist. He opened the scoring in the 10th minute, calmly putting away Raum’s cross. In the closing minutes of the second half, he turned provider, setting up Havertz’s second goal with a visionary low cross.
Serge Gnabry gives Germany the lead in their must-win game
At the Al Bayt Stadium, Gnabry played four key passes, created a big chance, completed a couple of dribbles, and won four ground duels. Additionally, he cleared the ball once, made an interception, and attempted two tackles.
#2 Kai Havertz
Introduced in place of Muller in the 66th minute, Chelsea ace Kai Havertz produced a remarkable performance, scoring two fine goals. Seven minutes after coming on, he received a cheeky pass from Fullkrug inside the box. Havertz kept his cool in front of an onrushing Navas and dinked the ball over him and into the back of the net.
FIFA World Cup
Kai Havertz put on a show, scoring twice for Germany as they gave everything in the hope the results would fall their way.
Instant impact when he came on and your #Budweiser Player of the Match
#CRCGER #POTM #YoursToTake #BringHomeTheBud
In the 85th minute, he doubled his tally, timing his run perfectly to avoid Costa Rica’s offside flag and tucking away Gnabry’s low cross.
Brace aside, Havertz created a big chance, played a key pass, and made an interception.
#1 Jamal Musiala
Undoubtedly the most impressive German player in Qatar, 19-year-old Jamal Musiala was at the heart of everything positive for Flick’s men on Thursday. He effortlessly slid between tight Costa Rican lines time and time again, created chances at will, and was unluckily denied by the post twice in the second half.
Jamal Musiala successfully completed 13 dribbles tonight.
That’s the second most ever recorded in a World Cup game.
Against the Ticos, Musiala completed a tournament-high 13 dribbles. Additionally, he played three key passes, delivered an accurate long ball, won 14 duels, and completed 30 passes (69.8% accuracy). If he maintains his development trajectory, he could become the cornerstone of this German team in the future.
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