Al Khor, December 2
Another World Cup, another flop. Former football power Germany are facing another round of soul-searching after going out of the sport’s most important tournament at the first stage for the second time in a row.
Germany’s players spoke afterward of good performances and missed chances — as they’ve done before.
But no one had any real answers to the team’s problems. “There are 25 experts standing together here. You can all advise each other and then agree on a few details,” Thomas Muller said after Germany’s 4-2 win over Costa Rica on Thursday.
Germany’s fate was effectively decided when they lost their first game 2-1 to Japan, then followed up with a 1-1 draw with Spain.
It left Germany at the bottom of Group E and dependent on a favour from Spain. It never came as Japan defeated Spain in their final game to top the group. Spain progressed ahead of Germany on goal difference.
We haven’t been able to live up to expectations at the tournaments in recent years, because as a team, I would say we don’t really have specialists running around everywhere. We have a lot of players who are very talented. —Thomas Muller, germany forward
“I never look at another team, it’s up to us,” Germany coach Hansi Flick said of relying on Spain. “I think ultimately the sum of everything contributed to us being eliminated. We had enough chances, whether in the first half or the first 60 minutes of the game against Japan, or even at the end against Spain, when we had another huge opportunity. You really have to take those chances.”
What Flick failed to mention is that Spain also missed a host of chances to put their game against Germany out of reach before Niclas Fuellkrug’s late equaliser.
That goal proved to be the highlight for Germany, though it proved to be of little worth in yet another disappointing big-stage performance. — AP
Costa Rica coach proud of his wards
Al Khor: Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suarez was proud of the team’s performance at the World Cup despite their elimination in the group stage, saying his players could exit the tournament with their “heads held high”. The 2-4 defeat to Germany marked consecutive World Cup group-stage exits. “We showed what Costa Rica are. I am very calm that we can leave with our heads high,” Suarez said. “I am so proud, they are so special.” reuters
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