All eyes will be on Jamal Musiala as Germany look to pick up their first win of the 2022 World Cup against Costa Rica and book their place in the last 16 on Thursday (kick-off: 8pm CET).
END OF THE LINE
It's a first win at Qatar 2022 for Germany but it is in vain given the result between Japan and Spain. Japan go through as winners on six points, with Spain second on four. Germany likewise have four points but an inferior goal difference.
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MUSIALA HAS A GO
Another dribble, another shot, but Navas saves.
JAPAN BEAT SPAIN
That is that in Group E. Japan have beaten Spain and will go through as section winners, with Spain in second place. Germany and Costa Rica will be heading for home.
Flick's side are still on the hunt for more goals but Costa Rica are packing the box and somehow managing to get a block every time a Germany player shoots.
We're into the second of 10 minutes of stoppage time.
FÜLLKRUG GETS HIS GOAL
That's now three goals in four Germany appearances for Füllkrug as he finishes from close range from Sane's pass. It adds gloss to the scoreline but does little to affect matters in the grand scheme of things.
GOAL! 2 : 4
GERMANY NEED A FAVOUR
There's not a lot more Germany can do - other than not concede again. They now need Spain to equalise against Japan to have a chance of reaching the last 16.
HERE WE GO!
A delicious cross from the right from Gnabry, behind the defence and in front of the goalkeeper. It picks out Havertz and the back post and the former Leverkusen forward doesn't miss from close range!
OVER FROM MUSIALA
How does he do it? The midfielder shimmies his way past three defenders as if they weren't even there, setting himself up for a shot. But he's leaning back as he strikes at and the ball sails over.
BENNETTE FIRES OVER
Costa Rica suddenly have a spring in their step and look confident and dangerous going forward. Bennette comes in off the right and shoots, but it's high and off target.
MONSTER SAVE FROM NAVAS!
Germany break forward at pace and look certain to score as Sane, on the left, crosses for the unmarked Füllkrug. The Bremen forward hits the cross first time but Navas pulls off an unbelievable save to put the ball out for a corner.
BOTH TEAMS MUST WIN
As a reminder, a draw is not good enough for either of these teams to go through. Both will be heading home if there are no more goals in Group E.
BACK IN IT!
Havertz gets Germany back on a level footing with a smart finish after collecting a through-ball. We're in for a rip-roaring finale here!
COSTA RICA LEAD!
It's a scrappy goal but they all count! Germany struggle to deal with a free-kick from the left and lose a couple of headers in the box. The ball pings around and comes off Juan Vargas before rolling into the net from close range!
GERMANY GOING ALL IN
Mario Götze and Kai Havertz are now on the pitch as Flick throws caution to the wind in a bid for goals.
Musiala hits the same post with a sumptuous curler from the edge of the box. The ball just won't go in for Germany!
A PICTURE TELLS A 1,000 WORDS
The moment Germany's World Cup was turned upside down.
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BRILLIANT FROM RAUM
The Leipzig left-back pings an inviting ball from the left across the face of goal. It's crying out for someone to throw themselves at it, but there's nobody near enough to do so.
AS IT STANDS
Japan will go through as Group E winners if both results stay the same, with Spain in second place. Costa Rica are third, with Germany bottom on two points.
Kimmich slides a teasing ball in from the right. Rüdiger gets there first at the near post but his shot strikes the outside of the post and bounces out of play!
MUSIALA HITS THE POST!
Musiala drives forward and shots with his left foot. It strikes the base of the post and bounces back to him but he can't keep the rebound down and it flies over.
WELL, WELL, WELL
Costa Rica are level! It's very much out of the blue but that has thrown a spanner in the works for Germany. Neuer can't hold a header from Campbell and can only parry it into Tejeda's path and he makes no mistake from close range!
GOAL! 1 : 1
SUPER SUB COMES ON!
Hansi Flick reacts to the news from the Japan game by bringing on striker Niclas Füllkrug, who scored the late equaliser against Spain.
Japan have now taken the lead against Spain, turning the game on its head after being 1-0 down to lead 2-1. Germany now need goals and lots of them.
LOVELY FROM MUSIALA
The 19-year-old effortlessly glides past a couple of defenders on the left and crosses into the middle, but it's blocked by a defender's leg.
CHANGE FOR GERMANY
One half-time change for Germany with Leipzig's Lukas KLostermann coming on for Leon Goretzka. Kimmich will push up into midfield now, with Klostermann at right-back.
Freiburg's Ritsu Doan has just equlised for Japan against Spain, which spells bad news for Germany. Japan go second if the scores stay the same.
Costa Rica get the action under way once more.
STRONG FIRST HALF
As it stands, Germany are going through to the last 16 as group runners-up. They dominated for the vast majority of that half and should really have added to Gnabry’s headed opener given the number of opportunities they created. However, that late chance for Fuller is a warning they will have to heed: find their scoring boots or risk being pegged back (and potentially eliminated).
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The Bayern winger tries his luck from distance but his shot is always rising and it goes well over.
FULLER MUST EQUALISE!
A long ball forward presents Costa Rica with an unexpected chance. Rüdiger fails to deal with the ball and Fuller nips in ahead of him, darting into the box and is suddenly face-to-face with Manuel Neuer. He lashes a fierce shot at goal that Neuer does brilliantly to tip over for a corner. What a let-off for Germany!
GNABRY GOES CLOSE!
Lovely skill from Gnabry as he collects the ball on the left, turning his marker as he controls the ball before jinking past another defender and curling a shot towards the far post. It's close, but just the wrong side of the upright.
MUSIALA MUST SCORE!
More jaw-dropping skill from the Bayern teenager to beat his marker and then dribble into the box. He does everything right but then skews his shot horribly wide from 12 yards!
Kimmich's powerful, swerving shot from outside the box almost outfoxes Navas, who spills the ball as he attempts to gather to his chest. Goretzka is alert to the rebound but his path is blocked by a defender and Navas collects at the second attempt.
Germany patiently work the ball from left to right and back again as they probe for openings. It eventually comes to Kimmich, who is given time to curl another teasing cross in from the right, but it's too strong for Müller in the middle.
The face of the Bayern veteran says it all following his glorious chance to score a little while earlier.
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FIRST GLIMPSE FOR COSTA RICA
Oviedo delivers a cross from the left into the box and picks out Campbell, who slips just as he's preparing to strike and ends up swiping his left boot in the air. It was a tricky one to take as the ball was slightly behind him, but that's the best chance Los Ticos have had so far.
RAUM ON THE OVERLAP
The Costa Rica defence are clearly wary of Musiala, and back off him whenever he turns and gets the ball. It's a risky strategy, as he picks out Raum overlapping on the left and his cross into the middle is a good one but the box is just too crowded.
PARKING THE BUS
Costa Rica are shifting to a 5-4-1 formation when not in possession - which is most of the time. Germany are doing their utmost to break through those lines with some quick, one-touch passing. It's the kind of game that suits Musiala's skill set perfectly.
The match has been played almost exclusively inside Costa Rica's half, with Germany bossing it all over the pitch. They'll need another couple of goals though, as 1-0 remains a precarious scoreline given the stakes.
It's been widely reported that Kimmich prefers playing in central midfield but it's clear to see why he's also regarded as a world-class right-back. He pings in ANOTHER inch-perfect cross from the right, this time for Goretzka, but the Bayern midfielder heads just wide at the back post.
That's his 21st international goal in his 39th appearance for Germany.
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SPAIN IN FRONT
Good news for Germany in the other group E game, where Alvaro Morata has just headed Spain 1-0 up against Japan. If both results hold, Spain will go through as section winners, with Germany also progressing as runners-up.
Musiala - who else? - is involved again, striding forward in midfield before releasing Raum into space down the left. The Leipzig man crosses into the middle for Gnabry, who guides a brilliant header across goal and in at the far post. A terrific finish!
MÜLLER MUST SCORE!
Kimmich whips in an inviting cross from the right and picks out the unmarked Müller, 10 yards out. You'd bet your house on him to score from there but he somehow heads it wide!
UNREAL FROM MUSIALA
WOW, JUST WOW! Musiala dribbles and jinks his way past five - yes FIVE - defenders in the Costa Rica box, trying to get room for a shot. He passes to Müller and it eventually comes to nothing, but it was sensational from the 19-year-old.
GNABRY GOES CLOSE!
The Bayern attacker pounces on a loose ball in the Costa Rica defence, plays a one-two with Musiala and charges into the left-hand side of the box. His fierce drive from an angle is pawed away by Navas - a goal wouldn't have counted anyway as Gnabry was offside, but it's another promising move from Germany.
The Bayern attacker does what he does best - create space where there seemingly is none - and gets a shot away from the edge of the box. Navas gets down well to keep it out for a corner.
AND WE'RE OFF!
Thomas Müller gets the ball rolling for Germany.
TIME FOR THE ANTHEMS
Spine-tingling stuff... it's almost go time!
OUT ON THE PITCH
The players are walking out right now, met by thunderous applause. We'll be under way soon!
TEAM NEWS - COSTA RICA
Los Ticos have made two changes following their surprise 1-0 victory over Japan last time out. Brandon Aguilera and Johan Venegas start in place of Anthony Contreras and Gerson Torres.
TEAM NEWS - GERMANY
Flick has made one change to his side following the 1-1 draw against Spain, with Leroy Sane coming in for Thilo Kehrer. That move also results in a positional change for Joshua Kimmich, who is likely to switch from central midfield to right-back, with Ilkay Gündogan partnering Leon Goretzka in central midfield. Werder Bremen forward Niclas Füllkrug was tipped to start by many pundits following his goal to salvage that draw against Spain, but he is once again on the bench here.
GERMANY STARTING XI
Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Süle, Rüdiger, Raum – Gündogan, Goretzka – Gnabry, Musiala, Sane - Müller
Trapp, ter Stegen, Ginter, Kehrer, Klostermann, Günter, Schlotterbeck, Bella-Kotchap, Götze, Brandt, Hofmann, Havertz, Füllkrug, Adeyemi, Moukoko
COSTA RICA STARTING XI
Navas (c) – Duarte, Waston, Vargas – Fuller, Borges, Tejeda, Oviedo – Aguilera, Campbell – Venegas
COSTA RICA SUBS
Brown, Sequeira, Martinez, Matarrita, Chacon, Bennette, Ruiz, Torres, Salas, Lopez, Wilson, Hernandez, Zamora, Contreras
WATCH: GET TO KNOW GERMAN FOOTBALL'S GLITTERING GEM
RÜDIGER TO KNOCK OUT HIS LANDLORD?
And another funny story ahead of the game sees Antonio Rüdiger go up against his landlord in Madrid. The German defender is currently renting the house of Keylor Navas, the Costa Rica captain and goalkeeper who’s now at PSG. “As long as I pay the rent on time, I don’t think that’ll happen,” Rüdiger said when asked if he’d be kicked out of his house if he and Germany booted Navas and Costa Rica out of the World Cup.
POTENTIAL (UNWANTED) HISTORY FOR GINTER
One of those quirky stats for you. Matthias Ginter has 47 caps for Germany, but is yet to play a World Cup game despite this being the third time he’s been in the squad at the finals. He has been an unused sub in 12 matches at a World Cup. If he doesn’t feature again today, he will equal the record held by Croatia’s Anthony Seric. That’s only for outfield players, though. There are four goalkeepers who have watched more matches from the bench: Simon Mignolet (Belgium), Ivano Bordon (Italy), Eike Immel (Germany, all 14) and Martin Silva (Uruguay, 16).
KLOSE BACKS SUCCESSOR
Füllkrug said this week that he used to look up to Miroslav Klose, talking specifically about watching him at the 2002 World Cup. Now he’s following in his footsteps at Bremen and with Germany. Klose – the highest scorer in World Cup history – told Bild that he doesn’t know if Füllkrug will start today but explained what his presence does for the team: "As soon as he's on the pitch, the opponent's focus will shift away from Jamal, Thomas or Leroy, because there will be someone in the penalty box to watch out for. That will automatically free up space for the others.”
KLINSI CALLS FOR FÜLLKRUG
Only five men have scored more World Cup goals than Jürgen Klinsmann, who’s also taken Germany and the USA to the finals as a coach. He was in charge in the only previous meeting with Costa Rica, winning 4-2 in the opening match of the 2006 tournament in Munich. The former striker is also delighted by what he sees as “the revival of the number nine”. The Bundesliga Legend added: “It’s not just about goals. A number nine with a presence creates relief when he can hold up the ball and distribute it, calming a game. Niclas can do that. He has a good presence, is good on the ball and has the feel and touch for situations in front of goal.”
WHEN WILL WE SEE FÜLLE?
Niclas Füllkrug has come off the bench in both games in Qatar, netting the equaliser against Spain with his first competitive international goal and second in just three senior caps. There have been calls to see the Werder Bremen striker – who is the top scoring German across Europe’s first divisions this season with 10 goals – to feature from the off today, given his presence provides the team with something different. You can see all of his Bundesliga goals this term in the video.
EARLY TEAM NEWS
Flick confirmed yesterday that Kai Havertz sat out the draw with Spain because he’d been ill. The coach pointed out that even he had a sore throat. But there are no injury concerns for this final group game. It’s expected that Leroy Sane will start after his good performance off the bench on Sunday, having missed the Japan game with a knee problem.
WHAT ARE THE PERMUTATIONS?
Germany may be bottom but can still finish second, which would set up a last-16 clash with the winners of Group F (one of Croatia, Morocco or Belgium), who finish their section earlier this afternoon. From a German perspective, they simply must beat Costa Rica. They then need Japan to lose to Spain. If the Samurai Blue draw, Hansi Flick’s men will need to win by two goals in order to overturn their inferior goal difference.
STATE OF PLAY
With two rounds of matches played, here’s how Group E looks: 1. Spain (4pts, GD +7), 2. Japan (3, 0), 3. Costa Rica (3, -6), 4. Germany (1, -1).
A BIG DAY IN QATAR
Welcome along to live coverage of Germany’s final group game against Costa Rica. We already know the identity of half the countries who will compete in the knockout stage. Group E is still completely open with all four teams still in with a chance of progressing (or exiting). Japan and Spain meet in the other game, with both fixtures kicking off simultaneously as 8pm CET.
Werder Bremen's Niclas Füllkrug was the man who rescued a 1-1 draw for Germany with a thunderous late strike against Spain on Sunday, but it was assist provider Musiala who drew most of the plaudits for his electric performance in attacking midfield. "He can be the Messi of the future!" former Germany captain and Bundesliga Legend Lothar Matthäus said of the Bayern Munich teenager, who looks sure to retain his place in Hansi Flick's starting XI. Leroy Sane also impressed after coming off the bench, and having recovered from a knee strain he is likely to start alongside Bayern teammates Musiala and Thomas Müller in attack. Füllkrug could also slot in at centre-forward after netting his second international goal in some style, with Serge Gnabry dropping to the bench. Further back, Flick is expected to stick with his four-man backline. Thilo Kehrer should start at right-back as RB Leipzig's Lukas Klostermann continues to build fitness following a lengthy ankle injury.
After their 7-0 demolition at the hands of Spain, Costa Rica were expected to bow out of the tournament when they faced Japan – but instead the Central Americans stunned the Samurai Blue thanks to a late goal from Keysher Fuller. "It was a moment of happiness, but we're already thinking about our next game," admitted teenage winger Jewison Bennete. "Germany are strong opponents, with a lot of quality." As they prepare to face the four-time world champions for just the second time – they lost 4-2 in the group stage at the 2006 World Cup, at Bayern's Allianz Arena – La Tricolor shouldn't make too many changes, although suspended centre-back Francisco Calvo is set to be replaced by Daniel Chacon. The team's captain and talisman, Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas, will have the unenviable task of trying to keep Musiala and Co. quiet at Al Bayt Stadium.
Watch: Analysing magical Musiala
- Musiala’s assist against Spain made him the youngest German to set up a World Cup goal since 1966 (aged 19 years and 274 days), surpassing Müller (20 years, 273 days in 2010).
- Manuel Neuer will make his 19th World Cup appearance in this game, claiming the outright tournament record for a goalkeeper (the Germany and Bayern captain is currently tied with Sepp Maier and Brazil's Claudio Taffarel).
- Füllkrug’s goal against Japan was his second in three senior caps and the first by a Germany substitute in a World Cup since Mario Götze in the 2014 final.
- Germany won 4-2 in the only previous meeting between these countries, in the 2006 World Cup group stage.
- Four Costa Rican players (Junior Diaz, Cristian Gamboa, Juan Cayasso and Austin Berry) have featured in the Bundesliga, for a combined 123 appearances, but there are no Germany-based players in the current squad.
- Los Ticos have scored with their only effort on target in two games at this World Cup.
Costa Rica: Navas (c) – Duarte, Waston, Vargas – Fuller (Bennette 74'), Borges, Tejeda (Wilson 90'+3), Oviedo (Contreras 90'+3) – Aguilera (Salas 46'), Campbell – Venegas (Matarrita 74')
Unused subs: Brown, Sequeira, Martinez, Chacon, Ruiz, Torres, Lopez, Hernandez, Zamora
Out: Calvo (suspended)
Coach: Luis Fernando Suarez
Germany: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Süle (Ginter 90'+3), Rüdiger, Raum (Havertz 66') – Gündogan (Füllkrug 54'), Goretzka (Klostermann 46') – Gnabry, Musiala, Sane - Müller (Götze 66')
Unused subs: Trapp, ter Stegen, Kehrer, Günter, Schlotterbeck, Bella-Kotchap, Brandt, Hofmann, Adeyemi, Moukoko
Coach: Hansi Flick