Germany and Spain arrived in Qatar as enormous favorites to take the top two positions in Group E alongside the likes of Japan and Costa Rica. Nevertheless, the Germans will return home after only three matches, following another dismal campaign at the biggest stage.
Hansi Flick did get the win against Costa Rica on the final day but it eventually counted for little as Japan stunned Spain in the other game to shockingly claim the first place in the group. Can Samurai Blue now continue their dream run and beat the likes of Croatia in the R16 and what will happen to this German generation after another failure?
Three consecutive failures for the Germans at big competitions
We all remember Germany’s loss to Korea Republic on the final day and the shocking group stage exit four years ago in Russia. Die Mannschaft did not shine at Euro 2020 either, suffering the early elimination at the hands of bitter rivals England in London. The new team led by Bayern Munich’s stars Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, and Manuel Neuer failed to deliver for the third consecutive time, exiting the 2022 Qatar World Cup after the group phase.
Germany fell to Japan 1-2 on the opening day in a match they could have solved earlier in the first half. They then offered a decent performance in a 1-1 stalemate with Spain before beating Costa Rica 4-2 on Thursday. However, this was only enough for the third place in the group as Spain advanced as second thanks to a better goal difference (courtesy of their 7-0 thumping of Costa Rica on the opening day).
Japan win the group as 16/1 underdogs
In this crazy sequence of events on the final day in Group E, Japan bagged two goals in quick succession early in the second half of the affair against Spain. These two goals launched Samurai Blue to the top of the group. The Asian outfit claimed two separate 2-1 comeback wins over Germany and Spain and we must say they deserved the progress to the knockout phase despite the surprising loss to Costa Rica in the second round.
Remember, Japan was underdogs to advance from this group and 16/1 to win. If you still believe in this fairytale run from Samurai Blue, we’ll inform you they are 66/1 to go all the way and win the whole tournament at the moment.
Belgium is Out Too
We have witnessed some genuinely shocking results at this World Cup. Belgium’s decline in the group with Croatia, Morocco, and Canada was by no means expected, but we did not see it as such a massive upset. While Germany at least showed some kind of desire on the pitch, the Red Devils were lethargic in all three games. They did not outplay any of the group phase counterparts.
Roberto Martinez immediately resigned as the head coach but this was one of the last chances for the likes of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens, and Yannick Carrasco to shine on the biggest stage. The Red Devils still possess plenty of talent among youngsters, but they will need time to get such a strong generation again.