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Winners & Losers

Musiala doesn't deserve it to end like this! Germany winners, losers & ratings as it's yet ANOTHER World Cup failure - and don't mention the VAR

23:22 WAT 01/12/2022
Jamal Musiala Manuel Neuer Germany
There was huge drama in Group E as a controversial VAR call sent Japan through, while Germany were knocked out at the group stages yet again.

It was too little, too late for Germany as they crashed out of the World Cup despite beating Costa Rica 4-2 on Thursday night.

Hansi Flick's team were dominant from the beginning of the match as they chased the vital victory they needed to surely put them through. They did their bit and got the three points but with Japan incredibly beating Spain it wasn't enough.

The tension was evident. Germany buckled initially as Costa Rica found a way back into the game, with Manuel Neuer and Antonio Rudiger producing moments of madness to allow their opponents to take a shock lead.

Serge Gnabry and Kai Havertz were there to rescue Flick's side, however, with the Bayern Munich winger chipping in with the opening goal and a vital assist, while the Chelsea forward came off the bench to score twice.

Having lost to Japan, drawn with Spain and then allowed Costa Rica to give them a real scare in what should have been an easy win going by the first-half performance, few would argue that Germany really deserved a place in the next round of the tournament.

They were simply too inconsistent and sloppy in the key moments in this competition and although they may turn their anger towards VAR following a controversial call in the clash between Spain and Japan, they must first acknowledge their own shortcomings in Qatar.

  • Jamal Musiala Germany

    The Winners

    Jamal Musiala:

    The young attacking midfielder has shown throughout this tournament why he is so revered in Germany and this game was yet another example. He was a real threat for his team with his dribbling and his neat and dangerous passes. He hit the post on two occasions in the second half after Costa Rica equalised and looked like the man most likely to get his team out of danger after they surrendered the lead. He had so much more to offer this tournament and he doesn't deserve it to end like this. One of few German players to enhance their reputation, and transfer value, despite heading home early.

    Kai Havertz:

    He certainly proved to Hansi Flick that he should have been involved in the starting XI in this game. Thomas Muller got the nod ahead of the Chelsea forward but he came on to take the Bayern Munich star's place and was immediately effective with the 2-2 goal. He then added his side's third, getting on the end of a Serge Gnabry pass. What might have been had Germany made it through, with Havertz's confidence having been restored.

    Stephanie Frappart & the match officials:

    The referee made history as she was at the front of an all-female team controlling a men's World Cup match for the first time. The referee and her team did not make any big mistakes in this match and were fully in charge, letting the game flow while assistants Neuza Back and Karen Diaz Medina were valuable in their support.

  • Thomas Muller Germany

    The Losers

    Manuel Neuer:

    Two big blunders from the goalkeeper in the second half saw Germany let their lead slip. He spilled the initial header that allowed Yeltsin Tejeda to spring into action and fire in the equaliser, then he was caught simply flapping at the ball as Juan Pablo Vargas put his team ahead with 20 minutes remaining. A terrible collapse from the Germany legend considering he pulled off a vital save in the first half to deny Keysher Fuller.

    Antonio Rudiger:

    He was exposed in each half by Fuller. He did nothing to stop the full-back as he was presented with a golden opportunity to equalise in the first half and was too easily shrugged off. Then he barely closed him down to stop the Costa Rica star sending in the cross that resulted in his side's equaliser. Simply not good enough from a defender that should be relied upon to stamp out such danger.

    Thomas Muller:

    He was barely involved throughout the game as he moved out wide and deep in an attempt to retrieve the ball. It was a completely ineffective performance from the Bayern Munich veteran as he allowed those around him to dictate and threaten the Costa Rica goal. His replacement managed to influence the game immediately, whereas Muller was simply a ghost for the most part. That may have been his last ever game for his country, and what a sad way to bow out.

    VAR:

    Once again the video assistant referee has been involved in another controversial call at the World Cup and Germany will feel hard done by. Japan were awarded a goal against Spain despite claims that the ball had gone out of play. Even after the replays it is tough to tell who was correct but Japan being awarded that goal has essentially knocked Germany out of the competition as a draw in that other match would have seen Hansi Flick's men progress.

  • Manuel Neuer Germany

    Germany Ratings: Defence

    Manuel Neuer (4/10):

    He pulled off a strong save to deny Fuller late in the first half and was on hand to deal with the subsequent corner but his interventions in the second period were woeful. He let the ball slip after saving a shot that allowed Tejeda to equalise and then completely fell apart for the second goal.

    Joshua Kimmich (7/10):

    Always pushing up from out wide and available for a pass throughout the first half, in which he did not have too much to do defensively but he was alert and quick to get back when he needed to. He moved into the midfield once Klostermann came on for the second half to help improve Germany's use of the ball from the centre of the field.

    Niklas Sule (5/10):

    Did nothing of note throughout this match.

    Antonio Rudiger (5/10):

    Barely put up any challenge to Fuller when the Costa Rica star was presented with a goalscoring opportunity. The full-back simply shrugged him off before Neuer came to Rudiger's rescue with the save. He put no effort into stopping Fuller in the second half in the lead up to Costa Rica's eventual equaliser, either.

    David Raum (6/10):

    Made a quality cross to set up the opening goal and was up and down the left side of the field all night, staying wide and looking to get the ball into the box for the forwards. However, he barely tried to cut out the ball that found its way to Fuller and gave Costa Rica a chance to equalise in the first half.

  • Jamal Musiala Ilkay Gundogan Germany

    Midfield

    Leon Goretzka (5/10):

    Had an early header saved by Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas but otherwise made very little impact in this game before he was substituted at the break.

    Ilkay Gundogan (6/10):

    The Manchester City midfielder sat deep and mostly tried to move the ball on to Musiala or wide to the full-backs. He kept the ball circulating well but Costa Rica's deep defence often made it hard to pull off more ambitious passes.

    Jamal Musiala (8/10):

    Looked a threat right from the beginning of the game, finding space outside the Costa Rica box and forcing Keylor Navas into making a save and earning a corner. Shortly afterwards he fed Serge Gnabry through for a dangerous chance but the winger was offside. Musiala had plenty of movement to make sure he was always available for a pass and kept pressing the opposition to win back the ball. Every time he got on the ball and dribbled he looked capable of creating something. Top stuff from a top player.

  • Serge Gnabry Thomas Muller Germany

    Attack

    Serge Gnabry (8/10):

    The Bayern Munich star lined up on the left side of the attack and opted to move inside more often than he stayed out on the wing. He was a threat from early on and was perfectly placed in the box to head in the opening goal just 10 minutes in. He then sent a fine ball over for Kai Havertz to restore his team's lead.

    Thomas Muller (4/10):

    Very quiet performance from the forward and he really should have been able to impose himself on this game a bit more. It said plenty about his outing that his replacement, Kai Havertz, did more for Germany despite only being on the field for 30 minutes.

    Leroy Sane (7/10):

    Not much of a direct threat for Germany but he did add to their attack in more of a playmaking role, making plenty of movement and trying hard to link up with the likes of Musiala and Gnabry. Teed it up well for Fullkrug to get his goal towards the end of the match.

  • Kai Havertz Germany

    Subs & Manager

    Lukas Klostermann (6/10):

    Replaced Leon Goretzka at half-time and moved to the right full-back spot while Kimmich moved into midfield. He kept himself available out wide but was not a big enough influence in attack, while he was too slow to react for Costa Rica's equaliser.

    Niclas Fullkrug (7/10):

    Took Ilkay Gundogan's place 10 minutes into the second half and did well to knock the ball down to Havertz in a dangerous position to pull Germany level at 2-2. He then almost put his team ahead shortly afterwards but was denied, only to finally get his goal by making it 4-2.

    Kai Havertz (8/10):

    Came on for Thomas Muller in the 67th minute and was immediately more influential than the Bayern Munich attacker as he struck the equalising goal and then was perfectly placed to get on the end of Gnabry's cross and put his team 3-2 up.

    Mario Gotze (5/10):

    Replaced David Raum midway through the second half but did not have a great impact on the match.

    Hansi Flick (7/10):

    He set his team up really well for this game and they dominated all the way through the first half. Although they briefly collapsed in the second half, they did manage to regain some control of the game, thanks to him bringing on Havertz for the ineffective Muller and Fullkrug for Gundogan, and ultimately won the game.