Germany crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage for the second time in succession despite a 4-2 win against Costa Rica on Thursday.
The four-time World Cup winners came into the match needing a win but were also relying on the result of Japan’s game with Spain to progress.
But the Germans were eliminated due to goal difference as Japan followed up their defeat of Germany with another shock result by beating Spain 2-1.
Germany took an early lead but briefly fell behind in the second half as coach Hansi Flick made a flurry of changes, reacting to the live score of the Japan v Spain fixture.
The Germans started positively, with Flick’s all-Bayern Munich front line turning the screws early, battering the Costa Rica defence before Serge Gnabry got his head to a curling cross from Leipzig defender David Raum after 10 minutes to open the scoring.
Midfielder Leon Goretzka almost doubled Germany’s lead just five minutes later but his header was directly at Keylor Navas.
Complacency began to creep into Germany’s game. Keysher Fuller, Costa Rica’s goal-scoring hero in a 1-0 win against Japan, forced Manuel Neuer into a fingertip save after some half-hearted defending from Raum and Antonio Ruediger.
Flick moved Kimmich back to his familiar defensive midfield position at half-time, bringing on Lukas Klostermann at the expense of Goretzka, who like Kimmich started the match on a yellow.
Just seven minutes into the second half, word crept around the vast Lusail Stadium that Japan had scored two quick goals to take the lead against Spain, a result which would force Germany out of the tournament.
Flick reacted immediately, bringing on Niclas Fuellkrug and taking off another midfielder in Ilkay Gundogan.
Germany appeared disjointed as Costa Rica went on the counter on the 58-minute mark, the ball rebounding off Neuer and into the path of Yeltsin Tejeda, who slammed it home.
Flick continued to chase the game, making more changes but it was Costa Rica who scored next when Juan Pablo Vargas tapped a free kick past Neuer to put his side past Spain and into the Round of 16. The goal was later recorded as an own goal.
Germany hit back minutes later through Chelsea forward Kai Havertz to draw level.
Havertz scored again in the 86th minute and Fuellkrug added another in the 89th minute to bring the score to 4-2, but the side’s focus remained nervously fixed on the group’s parallel fixture.
The night ended with Germany losing out to second-placed Spain on goal difference.
It means Germany, who had not missed out on the knockout stages of a World Cup for 80 years until the 2018 tournament in Russia, have been bundled out in the group stage for the second World Cup in a row.
CAFCC: Supporters Club Chairman Frowns Against Stadium Rejection
The Chairman of Rivers United Supporters Club, Franklin Owhor, has frowned against the rejection of the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt to host any of CAF Confederation’s Cup, (CAFCC) games.
He said the rejection will deny United to get total home support when the CAFCC competiition starts next week, saying that playing at home has its own peculiar advantage.
Owhor said this on Wednesday in a telephone interview with Tidesports after the reports from CAF that said the Nigeria Professional Football League ( NPFL) champions had adopted the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo for their home matches.
CAF has earlier asked the management of Rivers United to renovate the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, to International standard, saying that the Stadium lack some basic facilities to host international football competitions.
“ We will still give our maximum support to our team even though the matches will be played in Uyo, but it is painful that we are playing our home games outside our home.
“ I remember when Rivers United FC played in Enyimba Stadium sometimes ago, it was not so good for the team and we saw what happened .
“But I will say that Godswill Akpabio International Stadium is like a home to Rivers United FC, you can see we defeated Dakkada FC in Uyo so we conceived no tension and fear.
“I use this opportunity to appeal to the State Government through Ministry of Sports to try their best and return” the team back to its base, ‘ Owhor said.
By: Kiadum Edookor
NPFL: Boboye Denies Wikki Tourists Move
Former Akwa United coach, Kennedy Boboye, has dissociated himself from speculations linking him with the coaching job of Nigeria Professional Football League side, Wikki Tourists Tidesports source reports.
The Wikki job became vacant after former handler, Kabiru Dogo, resigned his appointment after amassing only one point in four games.
Following Dogo’s exit, reports have linked the former Plateau United and Sunshine Stars coach with the Giant Elephants, as tweeted by league journalist, Taye Hassan, on Wednesday.
“Kennedy Boboye could be the next tactician to be in Wikki Tourists dugout as information is coming in from a close source in Bauchi,” Hassan posted.
However, Boboye waved off the speculation in a telephone interview with Tidesports source.
“Anything you guys see, just conclude with it, I have been hearing this thing since yesterday,” Boboye said.
While Wikki Tourists have also confirmed the exit of Dogo, the club has put head coach Abdullah Adamu in charge of the squad.
After his spell with Sunshine Stars in 2015, Boboye won the league with Plateau United and Akwa United in 2017 and 2022 respectively, leaving both jobs the following season.
Bendel Insurance Coach Set To Win LBA Award
Bendel Insurance coach Monday Odigie has emerged as the clear favourite to win the League Bloggers Coach of The Month Award for January in the already five-week-old 2022/23 Nigeria Professional Football League.
Odigie is contending with Lobi Stars Mohammed Baba-Ganaru, Stanley Eguma of Rivers United as well as Daniel Ogunmodede of Remo Stars for the award.
From their respective numbers in the month under review, Odigie stands above the rest with four wins in four games. Baba-Ganaru, Eguma and Ogunmodede all secured three wins in four matches for their respective teams.
Also, Odigie’s Bendel Insurance have met Remo this season with the Benin Arsenal reigning supreme with a 3-0 win in Benin City.
In the Player of The month category, current league top scorer and Bendel Insurance forward Osarenkhoe Imade also leads the pack with his impressive four goals in four games in the month under review.
Imade scored his first goal on the opening day against Akwa United in Uyo, before following it up with further strikes against Plateau United, Kwara United and Remo.
Other players in the running for the award include Imade’s strike partner, Ismael Sarki, who scored three goals in January; Insurance goalkeeper, Amas Obasogie, who kept three clean sheets.
Lobi Stars duo Joseph Atule and Kumaga Suur and Onyebuchi Ifeanyi of Plateau United are also on the nomination list.
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