Germany have never been knocked out from the group stages of back-to-back World Cups in their history, but an early elimination looms on them as they face Costa Rica in their final group stage match at Al Bayt Stadium in Doha on Friday.
Germany have never gone winless in their first two group stage games in a World Cup in their history before this edition, where they are at the bottom of Group E with only one point after two matches.
In their match against Spain on matchday two, Germany recorded possession of 35.9%, their lowest since 1966, breaking their previous record of 39% against Morocco in the 1986 World Cup.
Germany started their 2022 Qatar World Cup with a 2-1 loss against Japan after their shambolic exit from the group stages in the previous World Cup before gaining a hard-fought draw against Luis Enrique’s Spain, which put them at the bottom of their group behind Spain, Japan and Costa Rica.
After a terrible World Cup start, Costa Rica helped them stay in contention for the knockouts by beating Japan, who previously performed a shocker to beat Germany. Now Germany need all three points from their final game and hope Spain beat Japan to still qualify for the round of 16.
If Japan anyhow manage to beat Spain by a minimum of one goal, Germany would need to win their game 8-0, and if the match between Spain and Japan ends in a Draw, Germany can go through with a two-goal win.
The equation for Costa Rica is also complicated. They must win to qualify no matter the result of the other match. If they draw the match against Germany, they will only need Spain to beat Japan. This may indicate that they will play for a draw as one point will see them through if the Spaniards grab three in the other match.
Even though Hansi Flick’s Germany are going through a tough time, they can be optimistic as history is on their side ahead of their clash against Costa Rica, as they have won six of the eight World Cup games against CONCACAF nations, losing only one.
Costa Rica on the other hand, have won only one of their eleven clashes against European sides (D5, L5), their maiden victory came against Italy in the 2014 edition.
Costa Rica can take the positive that six of their players will be on the squad that featured in their win against Italy.
This will be the second time ever that the two sides lock horns against each other in a World Cup match, with the first ending 4-2 in Germany’s favour in the opening match of the 2006 World Cup.