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FIFA WC: Germany to fight for survival as Spain, Japan eye last 16 

Sports Desk | banglanews24.com
Update: 2022-12-01 13:56:50
FIFA WC: Germany to fight for survival as Spain, Japan eye last 16  [Photo Collected]

Germany face a fight for World Cup survival in a must-win clash with Spain, as Japan and Belgium look to seal their place in the last 16.

For the second World Cup running, Germany could suffer a humiliating exit in the group phase if they lose their Group E clash with in-form Spain at the Al Bayt Stadium, which kicks off at 3am Hong Kong time on Monday.

The four-time champions were left staring down the barrel of elimination after crashing to a shock 2-1 loss to Japan in their opening fixture.

The prospect of an early German exit – four years after bowing out at the same stage at the 2018 finals in Russia – was practically unthinkable before the tournament.

German coach Hansi Flick insisted on Saturday his team had the quality to bounce back against a rampant Spain, who obliterated Costa Rica 7-0 in their opening game.

Fans celebrate Japan’s 2-1 victory over Germany in a World Cup Group E football match. Photo: Kyodo

Fans celebrate Japan’s 2-1 victory over Germany in a World Cup Group E football match. Photo: Kyodo

“We have a team that has quality, that can implement the things (we are working on), and we are very positive about it,” Flick said.

“We need to arrive with courage and with faith in our quality for this game against Spain.”

Spain coach Luis Enrique meanwhile said his team faced a “beautiful challenge” as they chase a win that would see them into the last 16.

However, Enrique cautioned that Germany’s World Cup pedigree – they won their fourth title in 2014 – meant nothing could be taken for granted.

“They are world champions, when you look there are four stars on their shirt,” the Spain coach said. “I have a lot of respect for their players, they are world class, and their history is there to see.”

A Spanish victory would mean Japan would also secure their passage to their knockouts if they beat Costa Rica, who they play on Sunday evening, Hong Kong time.

On paper, a place in the last 16 is beckoning for the skilful and energetic Blue Samurai against an ageing Costa Rica team.

But Japan captain Maya Yoshida said there was no danger his team would take the Costa Ricans for granted.

“They got hammered in their previous game so I think they’re really going to go for it,” Yoshida said.

“There are no easy teams at the World Cup. They will be fighting for the pride of their country and we have to be mentally prepared to deal with that.”

Source: South China Morning Post 

BDST: 1356 HRS, DEC 01, 2022
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