World Cup 2022 Group E: Fixtures, results, standings, squads & full details
Group E of the 2022 World Cup featured former world champions Germany and Spain alongside Costa Rica and Japan.
Japan punched way above their weight in a group where they shouldn't even have qualified on paper. They not only qualified for the Round of 16, but also topped Group E in a group consisting of Spain and Germany, both of which the Samurai Blue defeated. Japan will take on 2018 runners-up Croatia in the Round of 16.
Spain are always one of the favourites heading into a World Cup, with their 7-0 win over Costa Rica in their opening group game further rubber-stamping their credentials. However, they lost momentum into the next two games, drawing 1-1 against Germany and falling to a shock 2-1 defeat to Japan in the final group game to finish runners-up in Group E to set up a clash against Morocco in the Round of 16.
Germany were the other victim of the Japanese efficiency, falling to a 2-1 defeat in the opening group game and leaving them with a mountain to climb. In the final group game against Costa Rica, Hansi Flick's side were leading 1-0 at half-time, with Spain also leading Japan by the same scoreline simultaneously. Germany were progressing to the Round of 16 as things stood, However, an inspiring second half comeback from Japan meant that Germany crashed out of the group stage of a World Cup for the second successive time, even if they managed a 4-2 win.
Costa Rica's hammering at the hands of Spain meant that they needed two wins out of two to progress to the Round of 16. They did manage to beat table toppers Japan 2-1 in their next game. The Costa Ricans were also leading Germany 2-1 at the 70th minute in their final group game, taking them to second place in the group as things stood then. However, Die Mannschaft scored 3 goals in the last 20 mins to end Costa Rica's hopes.