Japan vs Costa Rica
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Day 8: Germany in danger of group-stage exit, Spain and Japan in commanding positions
On Sunday, four crucial matches from Group E and Group F of the ongoing FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be held, with the biggest one being the Germany vs Spain match. The 2014 champions, Germany, could be out of the tournament if they lose the contest. Let’s take a look at the group-phase matches that are all set to take place on Qatar World Cup Day 8. Group E The two matches in Group E that will be held today are Japan vs Costa Rica at 4 p.m. (BST) and Spain vs Germany at 1 a.m. Monday (BST). Read More: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Will Brazil’s Samba dance continue without Neymar? Japan vs Costa Rica Japan started off their campaign with a big surprise, beating one of the tournament favourites Germany, 2-1 in their opening fixture. Japan now have a great opportunity to move on to the next round with a game in hand if they can overcome a relatively weaker opponent, Costa Rica, on Sunday at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium. Costa Rica's only realistic possibility of getting a result in this World Cup is against Japan. So, the North American side can only hope to spoil the party for Japan by snatching a point from the contest. Germany vs Spain Germany, the four-time World Cup champion, will be eliminated from the tournament if they lose to Spain today. The German side has to win the contest if they want to remain firm in their quest for a Round of 16 berth. For Spain, the equation is very simple: they will secure a place in the knockout round if they beat Germany. With the kind of performance Spain showed in their last fixture against Costa Rica, it will be tough for Germany to get a result from this contest. Group F The two Group F fixtures that will be held today are: Belgium vs Morocco at 7 p.m. (BST) and Croatia vs Canada at 10 p.m. (BST). Read More: Spain vs Germany FIFA World Cup 2022 LIVE Streaming: Where and how to watch online and on TV Channel, predicted XI Belgium vs Morocco Belgium holds the top spot in Group F after beating Canada 1-0 in their opening match. They now get a chance to progress to the next phase when they meet Morocco today. Winning this match will send Belgium to the Round of 16. Morocco did well against Croatia in their opening fixture. They managed to hold the 2018 World Cup runner-up team to a scoreless draw. If Morocco want to move on to the next round, they also can't afford to lose this match. But they should attempt to oust Belgium in order to spice up the equation even more. Croatia vs Canada Croatia should be disappointed after failing to secure a victory over Morocco. They will likely be a bit nervous when taking on Canada on Sunday. But anything less than victory would put their Round of 16 berth in jeopardy. So, the Croatian side is expected to go all out against Canada. Canada's expectations are lower, so they will be under less pressure against Croatia. Since a loss in this game would mean Canada's World Cup campaign would be finished at the group stage, they are expected to be more aggressive and try to surprise Croatia. Read More: Iran shuts out noise at World Cup but United States looms Aftermath Despite the importance of the other three matchups, the Germany vs Spain clash will be the focus of all attention from the media on Day 8 of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Germany's potential elimination from the tournament's group stage would make the headlines for the next day.
How big was Japan’s 2-1 upset of Germany in the opening round of the World Cup? Newspapers in Japan used the term “Daikimboshi” from sumo wrestling to describe the magnitude of the surprise: when a low-ranked wrestler overpowers a grand champion. The victory has also been compared to Japan’s 34-32 upset of powerful South Africa in the 2015 rugby World Cup in England. Japan was the underdog against four-time champion Germany, but it will be a strong favorite in its next Group E match against Costa Rica, where a victory could move Japan into the knockout stage with a game to spare. A loss by Costa Rica on Sunday would eliminate it from advancing. Costa Rica faces Germany in its final match and Japan goes against Spain. Read: Germany pin hopes on Spain match to avoid early FIFA World Cup exit Costa Rica is reeling from a 7-0 thrashing against Spain in its opener, and it’s anyone’s guess how the Ticos will respond. With a population of just over 5 million, the tiny Central American country is appearing in its sixth World Cup. It reached the quarterfinals in 2014 in Brazil. Japan has never reached the quarterfinals at a World Cup, and that’s the aim this time. This is Japan’s seventh straight appearance, and it has reached the round of 16 on three occasions, including in Russia in 2018. It lost 3-2 in stoppage time to Belgium after leading 2-0. It was eliminated by Paraguay on penalties in 2010, and lost to Turkey 1-0 in 2002 when the country co-hosted the event with South Korea. Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu has spoken often about going farther this time and breaking the “final-16 hex.” Substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals against Germany — they both play in Germany’s Bundesliga — to lead Japan to the upset. Asano got the winner in the 83rd minute, squeezing the ball behind German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from a very sharp angle. Read: FIFA World Cup 2022: Brazil with plenty of options to replace Neymar Costa Rica was overwhelmed by Spain with only 28% of the possession. It would also face the same problem against Japan, which is able to hold the ball for long spells, and is also a quick, counterattacking threat. “We couldn’t complete three or four passes,” Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suarez said of the Spain loss. The Ticos will have to do much more against Japan.