Germany’s humiliation at the World Cup continues with Hansi Flick’s side knocked out in the group stage for the second tournament in a row.
Just like in Russia four years ago, Germany failed to reach the knockout stages despite their thrilling 4-2 win over Costa Rica.
Flick knew Germany had to beat Costa Rica in their last Group E game and hopes Japan can’t beat Spain.
And things looked positive for both European nations at the start of the second half, with Germany and Spain both leading 1-0.
Serge Gnabry led the 2014 champions into the lead as Germany missed an abundance of chances in the first half.
But they were quickly knocked out of the top two as, just like in their opener against Germany, Japan fought back from behind to win 2-1.
And it was a topsy-turvy clash against Costa Rica, with Germany trailing 2-1 following goals from Yeltsin Tejeda and Juan Pablo Vargas.
At this point, Costa Rica were on their way to the round of 16 in second place at the expense of Spain and Germany.
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But substitute Kai Havertz fired in a 12-minute brace to put Germany back in front.
It was 4-2 in the 90th minute as Niclas Fullkrug tapped in from close range after Havertz squared the ball to him.
But their win ultimately didn’t matter as Japan hung on for a nervy victory at the top of Group E, with Spain finishing second.
Although they did their job against Costa Rica, there will now be question marks over Flick’s position as manager.
Their loss to Japan proved costly and they failed to beat Spain in their second group match.
Although there will be outrage from Germany – and Spain – after the winner from Japan appeared to be clearly above the line.
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