Dhe mood in the national team has been much better than the situation in recent days. That the team had only one point in two games and was last in their group? Hardly worth mentioning. And the fact that the Germans didn’t have the matter in their own hands in the last group game? It will be okay.
In all public appearances by coaches and players, the relief of having prevented the possible end at the World Cup after only two appearances (albeit thanks to outside help) was felt with the hope of the late equalizer in the 1-1 draw against Spain in step to have found mixed up. 90 World Cup minutes later, it can be said: German football in its complacency at this World Cup only experienced the next brutal self-deception – and despite a 4-2 win against Costa Rica, also under national coach Hansi Flick, it slipped into the third debacle at the third big tournament one after the other.
After the preliminary round at the 2018 World Cup and failure in the round of 16 in the summer of 2021, the four-time world champion is over after just three games. The country with the four stars is regularly snubbed in the football world, now also in a group with average teams like Japan and Costa Rica. A year and a half before the European Championship in their own country, German football is looking into a deep abyss after the disaster in Qatar. A déjà vu that the Germans would not have dreamed of again after their failure in Russia. It feels even worse than the 2018 World Cup, which at the time still seemed like a one-off slip by yesterday’s world champions.
Weakest performance in decades
To put it bluntly: the performance against Costa Rica lasted over an hour and was perhaps the weakest and most harrowing of a German team in decades at a major tournament. And that’s saying something after the recent disappointments of recent years.
The Latin Americans, who up to that point had only created one chance at this World Cup, came very close to equalizing twice, despite their individual inferiority. Goalkeeper Neuer saved once with a world-class reaction, after which Costa Rica stumbled on an outstanding counterattack that any class team would have gratefully taken advantage of. In the second half they even took the lead after the deserved equalizer before the Germans turned the game around with the courage of desperation.
The line-up of the national coach proved to be just as half-hearted as his team’s performance. Flick initially only relied on Bayern players and put Kimmich in the right-back position – but nothing was good, quite the opposite, also because Müller was not a leader in the center of the attack, but a failure.
The team’s unerring strikers, Füllkrug and Havertz, left Flick on the bench for far too long in a game where many scoring chances were expected, where they shouldn’t have been. Havertz and Füllkrug finally turned the completely open game in the second half with three goals. But with Japan’s 2-1 win against Spain, everything was lost for the Germans in the end. Despite the victory, it was a complete German failure in Qatar across all three games, in which the national coach also played his part. It was the next downfall.