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2022 World Cup Group E final standings: Who is through to the last 16?

By Ben Green

2022 World Cup Group E final standings- Who is through to the last 16?

Published: 21:30, 1 December 2022

The 2022 World Cup ‘Group of Death’ has reached its conclusion, with Spain and Japan (not Germany) going through to the knockouts.

Germany are the most succesful World Cup nation from Europe, lifting the trophy four times alongside Italy, but Hansi Flick’s men are out of the tournament. Following an opening-day defeat to Japan, a draw to Spain and their recent win over Costa Rica, the 2014 winners will not be advancing to the next phase.

It was an inauspicious start to Qatar 2022 for Germany after they surrendered a one-goal lead against Japan in their tournament curtain-raiser, and that pattern carried on throughout the groups as they failed to break down Spain and struggled over the line against Costa Rica.

They depart Qatar on the same day another heavyweight exited the tournament, with Belgium crashing out of Group F. For the nations who have gone through in what many described as this World Cup’s ‘Group of Death’, Japan have come out as surprise table-toppers, and they will face Croatia in the last 16.

Hajime Moriyasu’s men sent shockwaves through Qatar after stunning Germany on matchday one, and they have repeated that feat against Spain, claiming another heavyweight scalp after a second-half salvo. Having trailed at half-time, the Samurai Blue battled back to win 2-1.

First Ritsu Doan — who got the equaliser against Germany — uncorked from distance to breach Unai Simon’s net. It was a thumping effort, but you would have expected the ‘keeper to save it. Just three minutes later, Japan were celebrating a second after Ao Tanaka tucked into an empty net.

There was a protracted VAR check to see if the ball went out of play when Kaoru Mitoma directed his cross back into Spain’s six-yard area. At a first glance it looked as though the ball had just run over the line, but as the stadium stood in suspended animation, the referee indicated that the goal stood.

“It looked as though the ball went out. It’s cost the Germans dearly. It’s so controversial. Why are FIFA not showing us conclusive pictures to prove the ball went out?” Graeme Souness vented in the ITV studio in the immediate aftermath of the match.

Regardless, raptures in the blue half of the Khalifa International Stadium. Japan ultimately held out to send both themselves and Spain through, but there was a moment when Luis Enrique’s men were actually exiting the competition. With 20 minutes to go, Costa Rica were leading Germany 2-1 in a quite extraordinary seesawing of the table standings.

It meant the nation they put seven past on matchday one were actually going through instead of them. Fortunately for La Roja, Germany turned the game around to win 4-2, but that result only meant that both nations contesting at the Al Bayt Stadium exited, while those in Doha enjoyed collective jubilation.

So, Japan and Spain through, Germany and Costa Rica out. It was nerve-jangling, drama-laden and finished with a giantkilling.

2022 World Cup Group E final results

Wednesday 23 November 2022

  • Germany 1-2 Japan, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
  • Spain 7-0 Costa Rica, Al Thumama Stadium, Doha

Sunday 27 November 2022

  • Japan 0-1 Costa Rica, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
  • Spain 1-1 Germany, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

Thursday 1 December 2022

  • Japan 2-1 Spain, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
  • Costa Rica 2-4 Germany, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Al Rayyan

2022 World Cup standings

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