Germany need a vital win to avoid embarrassment at Qatar 2022

(CNN) — After a poor start to the World Cup, Germany are now staring over the precipice of elimination ahead of their final Group E match at Qatar 2022.

Their upset loss to Japan on the opening day put the Germans in a difficult position, but they bounced back in their second match against Spain to a hard-fought draw.

This means that the 2014 world champions, who sit bottom of their group by just one point, now need to beat Costa Rica on Thursday and hope Spain beat Japan to advance to the last 16 of the competition. .

A draw in the other group game could be enough for Germany, but their fate would then depend on goal difference.

Germany coach Hansi Flick spoke to reporters after the vital draw against Spain and said he hoped his team would gain some confidence for the crucial game at Al Bayt Stadium after a more positive performance against Spain.

“Maybe it’s the spark we need,” Flick said. “The team fought a lot and I am very satisfied with their mentality. These are the things we want and we know we took the first step.

“We want to have the conditions against Costa Rica to reach the round of 16,” added the German coach.

Germany coach Hansi Flick hopes his team can change their form. (Credit: Robert Michael/dpa/picture alliance/Getty Images)

Group leaders Spain, meanwhile, only need one point against Japan to secure their place in the round of 16; You can even afford to lose the game depending on what happens in Germany’s match with Costa Rica.

Spain coach Luis Enrique is determined his team will enjoy their experience in Qatar and has defended his online streaming sessions in which he talks to fans.

“The only goal I set for my players… before coming to this training camp 16 days ago, I told them we had to have fun, have fun,” he told reporters.

“We need to enjoy this because you have to have joy in your work,” he added.

It’s a philosophy that seems to be working, with Spain’s young team producing impressive displays on the world stage.

Japan, for their part, who stunned Germany in their first game, now need to produce another upset by beating Spain after losing to Costa Rica in the second group date.

“Tomorrow is going to be a high-pressure game for all the players, but we have to believe in ourselves,” Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu told reporters on Wednesday.

“They have to believe in themselves, they have to do it. They must believe in their teammates to fight our opponent. Hopefully, they will be at their best and the result will follow.”

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Jamai Musiala of Germany reacts after missing a shot on November 23, 2022. (Credit: Matthew Ashton/AMA/Getty Images)

Morocco bids to surprise Belgium and Croatia

Meanwhile, for three teams in Group F, everything is on the line this Thursday.

Belgium, Croatia and Morocco can still qualify for the knockout rounds in what promises to be a fascinating round of matches.

Belgium and Croatia will play each other, while Morocco faces Canada, which is already out of the tournament.

Many Moroccans will still be reeling from an emotional victory against Belgium on Sunday, in what was the country’s first World Cup victory since 1998, and the third in its history.

“If we go through to the knockout phase, I think we will be very dangerous in the future,” Moroccan coach Walid Regragui told reporters earlier this week.

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Morocco celebrates after scoring their first goal against Belgium in their last game. (Credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

Anything short of a place in the round of 16 will be a huge disappointment for both Belgium and Croatia.

The latter were the beaten finalists in 2018 and only need a draw against Belgium to secure group progression.

But coach Zlatko Dalic says he refuses to entertain himself by playing for anything but a win.

“We must not accept the option of having a single point to end the game with Belgium,” he told reporters.

“There are no easy games. Belgium needs a win, but we will also be looking for a win”, added Dalic.

Belgium, meanwhile, have struggled to find their place in the tournament so far.

They were largely outclassed despite beating Canada in their opening game and suffered a confidence-sapping loss to Morocco.

However, manager Roberto Martinez says his team will be ready for the showdown and hopes his star players such as Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne can turn their fortunes around.

“We have to stick together now and get stronger. I know this group, we will be ready for Croatia,” she told reporters.

“We have not yet been the best Belgium in this World Cup,” De Bruyene pointed out.