Germany needs a vital win to avoid embarrassment in Qatar 2022



CNN

After a bad start to their World Cup campaign, Germany is now looking down the qualifier barrel towards their final Group E match in Qatar 2022.

A shock defeat to Japan on opening day put the Germans in a difficult position, but rallied against Spain to earn a tough draw in their second match.

This means that the 2014 world champion, who at one point was at the bottom of the group, beat Costa Rica on Thursday and the competition must move into the qualifying stages, hoping Spain beats Japan.

A draw in the other match of the group may be enough for Germany, but then its fate will depend on the goal difference.

Speaking after the critical draw with Spain, Germany coach Hansi Flick said he hopes his team will gain some confidence for the critical match at Al Bayt Stadium after a more positive performance against Spain.

“Maybe it’s the spark we need,” Flick said. “The team has struggled a lot and I’m very happy with their mentality. Those are the things we want and we know we have taken the first step.

“We want to have the conditions to reach the qualifying stage against Costa Rica.”

Meanwhile, group leader Spain needs just one point against Japan to advance to the round of 16 – they can even afford to lose the match, depending on what happens in Germany’s match against Costa Rica.

Spain coach Luis Enrique has defended his team’s online streaming sessions where he speaks to fans, determined to enjoy their experience in Qatar.

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

“We should enjoy it because you should enjoy your work.”

A philosophy that seems to work; The young side of Spain is putting on impressive performances on the world stage.

Japan, which stunned Germany in its first match, must make another surprise by defeating Spain after losing to Costa Rica in its last match.

“Tomorrow will be a high-pressure match for all 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 believe. They need to believe in their teammates to be able to fight against our opponent. I hope they do their best and the result will follow.”

In the meantime, there’s everything to play on Thursday for the three teams in Group F.

Belgium, Croatia and Morocco can qualify for the qualifying rounds, which promise a fascinating round of matches.

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

Many Moroccans will still be recovering after an emotional win against Belgium on Sunday in the country’s first and third ever World Cup win since 1998.

“I think we will be very dangerous in the future if we pass the qualifying stage,” Moroccan coach Walid Regragui told reporters earlier this week.

Morocco rejoices after scoring their first goal against Belgium in their last match.

Anything other than the round of 16 would be a huge disappointment for both Belgium and Croatia.

The latter was a defeated finalist in 2018 and only needs one draw against Belgium to keep it moving forward in the group.

But manager Zlatko Dalic says he refuses to play for anything but a win.

“We should not accept the option of having just one point to finish the game with Belgium,” he told reporters.

“There is no easy game. Belgium needs a win, but we will aim to win.”

Belgium, meanwhile, has struggled to find a foot in the tournament so far.

Despite beating Canada in the opening match, they were largely behind and suffered a confidence-shattering defeat against Morocco for the last time.

However, manager Roberto Martinez has said he hopes his team will be ready for a showdown and that he can change the fate of star players like Manchester City’s midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.

“Now we have to stay together and be stronger. I know this group, we will be ready for Croatia,” he said.

“We haven’t been the best Belgium yet in this World Cup.”

Croatia – Belgium: 10:00 AM ET

Canada – Morocco: 10:00 ET

Japan – Spain: 14:00 ET

Costa Rica – Germany: 2:00 PM ET

USA: Fox Sports

United Kingdom: BBC or ITV

Australia: SBS

Brazil: SportTV

Germany: ARD, ZDF, Deutsche Telekom

Canada: Bell Media

South Africa: SABC

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