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Group E: What each team needs to qualify for the round of 16 of the World Cup

Each team has played two games and with just one remaining in the group, we consider how the nations are placed to reach the knockout stage.

Group E: What each team needs to qualify for the round of 16 of the World Cup
Hector Vivas - FIFAGetty

Spain woke everyone up with an opening 7-0 battering of Costa Rica while just as eye catching was Germany’s defeat to Japan after dominating the first hour. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar was proving to be a one that was hard to predict.

Then matchday 2 arrived and while Germany managed to grab a valuable 1-1 draw against Spain, Costa Rica flipped everything on its head with a 1-0 win over Japan. Preparations are now focused on being in prime condition for the third and final game in Group E, which will decide who goes through, and who goes home.

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Spain need a point, Germany need a win

As it stands, La Roja lead the way in the group on four points. Behind them are Japan and Costa Rica on three and then the Germans on a single point.

A draw for Spain in the final game against Japan is enough to take them through, but a win would ensure they take top spot, potentially giving them an easier match-up in the round of 16. If they were to lose against Japan, and Qatar is proving to be a tournament of surprise results, then they would need the other game, between Die Mannschaft and Los Ticos, to end in a draw to be sure to proceed in second place to the Asian side.

Goal difference comes into play if Spain lose and Germany win, but it would need a 7-goal swing to see Asensio, Olmo, Pedri et al exit at the first stage.

Germany are looking for Spain to win, meaning they just have to do their job against Costa Rica who, like Japan, also know that progress is guaranteed with a win. If both games end in a draw, Spain are through in first, and they are joined by the Asian giants.


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