By Steve Pedry 01/12/2022

World Cup 2022: Germany Vs Costa Rica Match Preview

In their final World Cup Group E match on Thursday, Germany must win by a wide margin to have any hope of advancing.

The Germans have only one point from two matches, increasing the specter of another first-round exit like their early exit in Russia four years ago.

Even a win over Costa Rica may not be enough, as Germany will be looking to Spain to upset Japan in order to advance to the next round.

If Germany defeats Costa Rica, a tie between Spain and Japan — or a win for Japan — would put goal difference into play.

Spain is in first place in the group with four points, followed by Japan and Costa Rica, each of which has three.

The German coach Hansi Flick's team has struggled to score goals, but centre forward Niclas Fuellkrug's great run for club and nation in recent months has increased their chances.

The 29-year-old, an odd addition to the squad before the competition, scored a late equalizer against Spain to keep their hopes alive.

Germany's opponents on Thursday haven't fared much better, with Costa Rica having only one shot on goal in two games.

Still, that shot resulted in a goal, which gave them the victory over Japan and kept their qualification chances alive.

They'll finish second if they beat Germany and Spain beat Japan. A club that lost its first game 7-0 making the Round of 16 would be a story.