FIFA World Cup 2022: Germany 4, Costa Rica 2

Doha, Qatar; Germany midfielder Jamal Musiala (14) chases the ball against Japan during a group stage match during the 2022 World Cup at Khalifa International Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the convincing 4-2 win over Costa Rica, Germany crashed out of the World Cup on Thursday, marking the second consecutive tournament where they've failed to progress past the group stages. 

Costa Rica will also head home early as Spain and Japan advanced from Group E. All four sides were at some stage in line to progress from the group during a drama-filled night.

As a wave erupted around the Al Bayt Stadium in just the 40th minute, the game seemed as though it would be an uneventful affair — with Germany in cruise control, 1-0 up and heading through to the knockout rounds. However, some shaky defending from the Germans at the end of the first half seemed to inspire Costa Rica, and the second half descended into chaos, delivering arguably the most enthralling contest of the tournament so far.

Five second-half goals caused multiple lead changes, and for a brief three-minute period, Costa Rica was ahead and in position to progress to the knockout stages as Japan led (and ultimately beat) Spain. A brace from substitute Kai Havertz rescued this game for Germany, but it was in vain for the European giants, who will rue that costly defeat to eventual group winners Japan.

Expected goals (xG): Germany 4.26, Costa Rica 1.14

PFF's xG model suggests this six-goal thriller ended with a fair result. Germany eventually got their reward after consistently taking shots from dangerous positions throughout the game. And the 39 total shots in the game certainly provided entertainment.

Man of the Match: Jamal Musiala, Germany

The former England Youth international was the lone bright star of Germany’s disintegrating campaign. He has the fifth-highest shooting grade in the Bundesliga this season (84.2) and was Germany’s most dangerous player against Costa Rica, taking a joint-tournament-high nine shots and hitting the post twice. 

Musiala was the key to Germany’s attacking efforts, receiving 17 line-breaking passes, tied for second in the tournament, and constantly driving the ball into dangerous areas. He also completed 11 of a staggering 16 attempted dribbles, both tournament highs. The combined volume and quality of Musiala’s efforts created a wealth of chances for Germany.

Best Passer: Joshua Kimmich, Germany

Kimmich’s 97.4 passing grade in the Bundesliga this season ranks first by a distance, and he earned the ninth-highest passing grade after the first two rounds of the World Cup group stage (87.7).

The Bayern Munich player completed 114 out of 122 attempted passes against Costa Rica, both game-highs, giving him a 93% success rate. Kimmich was responsible for progressing the ball through Costa Rica, completing six line-breaking passes. His ball over the top to Leroy Sane that set up Germany’s fourth goal was the highlight among his usual array of excellent passes.

Best Challenger: Kendall Waston, Costa Rica

Watson was dominant against Germany, winning 90% of them. He won all three aerial duels, all three 50/50s and three out of his four tackles. He also successfully defended one of two dribbles faced.

Goalkeepers

This was a high-scoring game despite containing two of the best goalkeepers of the past decade. Neuer made a fantastic save at the end of the first half to deny Keysher Fuller, however his failed catch directly resulted in the first Costa Rica goal. He was also credited with his own goal that was more unfortunate than anything and was caused by multiple rebounds.

Despite conceding four goals, Keylor Navas was not the problem for Costa Rica. Two of the goals he conceded were deemed unsaveable, and he was not credited with any fault for the other two. 

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