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breaking news Four-time champions suffer back-to-back WC group stage exits


It was the first time in their illustrious World Cup history that Germany failed to win either of their first two group games and despite winning in their last attempt, they will leave Qatar with their heads down.

Four-time world champions Germany were sensationally knocked out of the World Cup despite beating Costa Rica 4-2 in their last Group E match on Thursday December 1, collapsing at the first hurdle to the second consecutive time.


Germany finished third in the table, behind Spain on goal difference, with Japan leading after their 2-1 victory over the Spaniards.

In a night of relentless drama in the desert near Doha, the Germans struck first with Serge Gnabry in the 10th minute but saw the Central Americans score twice with Yeltsin Tejeda and Juan Pablo Vargas before a Kai brace Havertz never puts them back in mind.

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Fellow substitute Niclas Fuellkrug added a fourth in stoppage time but that could do nothing to prevent their elimination as Spain advanced with a superior goal difference.

It was the first time in their illustrious World Cup history that Germany failed to win either of their first two group games and despite winning in their last attempt, they will leave Qatar with their heads down.

They were on the brink of elimination before the match after losing their first group game against Japan and then snatching a 1-1 draw with Spain.

Needing just one victory to avoid a repeat of their shock first-round exit from the 2018 World Cup, Germany, with seven Bayern Munich players in their roster, charged from the start in search of a quick goal to calm his nerves.

Jamal Musiala cut from the left into the box and tested goalkeeper Keylor Navas with a low drive in the second minute.

It was one-way traffic at the start and the unmarked Thomas Mueller should have done much better when he was picked off by Joshua Kimmich but couldn’t keep his header on target.

Gnabry, however, scored with his chilling header in the 10th minute to put the four-time champions ahead.

Costa Rica, who needed at least a point to have any chance of progressing, rarely penetrated the German half, with only around 25% possession in the first 45 minutes.

Germany were eager to make amends for their poor start to the tournament with teenager Musiala repeatedly coming up against the entire Costa Rican defence.

The chances multiplied but the Germans, like in the game against Japan, struggled to convert them.

They were nearly punished when Keysher Fuller took advantage of a double defensive blunder but his shot was deflected by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who became World Cup goalkeeper record holder with his 19th appearance.

As the group standings flashed on the big screen at Al Bayt Stadium, Germany grew nervous with Musiala hitting the post twice early in the second half.

Neuer, however, couldn’t do anything 13 minutes into the restart when Tejeda kicked the ball past him on the rebound after first saving a header from Kendall Waston.

Vargas then missed the ball over the line in the 70th minute to put them in front.

Substitute Havertz scored twice in 12 minutes and Fuellkrug added another in stoppage time, but ultimately it was too little too late with Spain advancing with a superior goal difference.


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