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Japan’s 2-1 win rendered Germany’s 4-2 victory useless as Die Mannschaft were knocked out of the Qatar footballing extravaganza. This is the second successive quadrennial FIFA event that the four-time champions have crashed out of.
A second-half capitulation against Japan proved to be Germany’s bane. Matters were further complicated as Flick’s men failed to get over Spain and could only secure a point from their meeting at Al Bayt Stadium.
In the end, Germany only has their victory over Costa Rica to show for their efforts in the Arabian-Gulf nation. They still had an outside chance but Spain’s shock defeat at the hands of Japan sealed their fate as Die Mannschaft were forced to board an early flight back home.
The 57-year-old head coach refused to blame their circumstances and attributed their ousting to their own abilities. Flick pointed at their poor showings in front of the goal and believes matters would be different had they been more prolific.
Despite the setback, Flick did not put much emphasis on the severity of the situation. While the world champions have yet to be crowned, the former Bayern Munich manager has set his sights on the 2024 European Championships.
“Honestly, we have just been eliminated, but if you know me and know my team, you know that we can get up quickly and recover from that. That is very important and very decisive for the future.
“In light of the 2024 European Championship, it is difficult to talk about that right after an elimination. Now we need to assess our work here at the World Cup, head into a different direction, and this is the next step that we are going to undertake and we will do that very soon.”
Costa Rica depart with sadness
Despite going down to an early strike from Serge Gnabry, Germany found themselves pegged back by Costa Rica. Yeltsin Tejeda and Juan Pablo Vargas scored early in the second half to take the lead.
Never forget those three minutes when Japan and Costa Rica were going through 🍿 pic.twitter.com/gUFZT76RA0
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 2, 2022
With Japan winning in the other Group E fixture, Manuel Neuer’s horror showing in Germany’s goal saw Costa Rica progress to the knockout rounds. Kai Havertz’s brace from the bench saw them slide back into the bottom slots with Niclas Fullkrug sealing their fate.
Costa Rica head coach Luis Fernando Suarez was more emotional in his farewell press conference. He admitted that Los Ticos were departing with sadness but were proud of establishing themselves as a force to reckon with in world football.
“I am leaving with a feeling of sadness,” Luis Fernando Suarez commented. “The feeling is tough to experience, especially as a coach, and even tougher to experience in a World Cup.
“But this is us, this is Costa Rica. We were ourselves against Japan, and again today, and the most important thing is that we have room for development, so many young players with a great future ahead of them. So I am very calm and we can leave with our heads held high.”
While Costa Rica and Germany lick their wounds, Japan and Spain have further obstacles to overcome. The Samurai Blue take on the challenge of Croatia while La Furia Roja looks to tame Morocco in the Round of 16.
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