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Germany beat Costa Rica 4-2 but crash out of World Cup at group stage again

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Germany beat Costa Rica 4-2 but crash out of World Cup at group stage again

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.

Serge Gnabry’s early header (10) appeared to have set Germany on the way to a comfortable three points, but a second-half strike from Yeltsin Tejeda (58) and a Manuel Neuer own goal (70) remarkably put Costa Rica in pole position to qualify for the last 16 and raised the incredible possibility of both Germany and Spain going out.

But the drama did not end there. Germany substitute and Chelsea forward Kai Havertz turned the game around again with a well-taken double (73 & 85) before fellow substitute Niclas Fullkrug made it 4-2 in the 89th minute.

The victory was not enough though as the 2014 tournament winners finished third in Group E, with Spain and Japan above them.

Japan finish top of Group E with six points, meaning they will face Group F runners-up Croatia in the last 16 on Monday, with kick-off at 3pm.

Spain finish second on four points, ahead of Germany on goal difference, and will face Group F winners Morocco in the last 16 on Tuesday, kicking off at 3pm.

Costa Rica finish bottom of Group E on three points and, like Germany, exit the competition.

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