Al Khor, Qatar, Dec 1 (EFE).- Germany have failed to reach the knockout stage for a second consecutive World Cup, as their 4-2 winning margin over Costa Rica here Thursday was not enough to make up for their lack of scoring punch in the first two matches.
Die Mannschaft, who are second only to Brazil in World Cup titles with four, finished third in Group E with 4 points, the same as Spain, but La Roja advanced to the round of 16 thanks to goal difference of 6, compared with just 1 for Germany.
The Germans jumped out to the lead in the 10th minute with a goal by Serge Gnabry and should have put the match out of reach by the break, but only four of their 12 first-half shots were on target.
Five minutes into the second half, the players and fans at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor got the news that Japan had equalized in their contest against Spain, leaving Germany on the brink of elimination.
Then came word that Japan had surged ahead of La Roja, followed in the 58th minute by a goal for Costa Rica’s Yeltsin Tejeda, who blasted in the rebound after keeper Manuel Neuer stopped a shot by Kendall Waston but failed to secure the ball.
Germany’s Jamal Musiala hit the post in the 61st and Antonio Rudiger sent a shot just wide seconds later.
Musiala saw another attempt bounce off the woodwork in the 68th minute and Costa Rica vaulted ahead in the 70th, when a strike from Juan Pablo Vargas deflected off Neuer into the net.
A victory for Costa Rica combined with a Spanish loss would see the Central American side advance and La Roja go home, but it took German sub Kai Havertz just three minutes to shatter the Ticos’ dreams.
Energized by scoring his first World Cup goal, the Chelsea man added a second with five minutes left in regulation to give Germany a 3-2 edge.
Niclas Fullkrug stretched the lead to 4-2 in the 89th minute, but it wasn’t enough. EFE lmpg/dr