Costa Rica v Germany: World Cup 2022 – live

Key events

GOAL! Costa Rica 2-1 Germany (Vargas 70)

Wow. Costa Rica win a free kick. Campbell lofts a high ball into the box. Waston heads it back across goal. It bobbles and falls for Vargas, who pokes it past Neuer with an outstretched boot.

67 min Germany can’t believe their eyes. Musiala hits the post again, clanging a shot against the upright from distance.

66 min Flick makes a double change, bringing on Kai Havertz and Mario Götze for Müller and Raum.

61 min Germany hit the woodwork again! Kimmich gets down the right flank and whips a cross to Rüdiger, who grazes the outside of the same post that Musiala rattled moments earlier.

60 min Germany come forwards with a glimmer of desperation. Musiala hits the inside of the post, leaving his teammates with their heads in their hands.

GOAL! Costa Rica 1-1 Germany (Tejeda 58)

It’s all going horribly wrong for Germany. Fuller makes inroads down the right and floats an inviting cross into the box. Kendall Waston has roared forwards and smashes a header at Neuer, who can only parry it. Yeltsin Tejeda follows up to score from close range.

Costa Rica’s Yeltsin Tejeda slots home to put Costa Rica level. Photograph: Molly Darlington/Reuters
Yeltsin Tejeda of Costa Rica celebrates after scoring their equaliser.
Tejeda celebrates. Photograph: Georgi Licovski/EPA

55 min Sané has a crack from distance. The ball sails harmlessly into the stands. Flick makes another change, bringing on Niclas Füllkrug – the hero against Spain – for Ilkay Gündogan.

High drama. Japan are now 2-1 up against Spain after a goal from Ao Tanaka. Germany are in big trouble.

53 min Klostermann picks out Leroy Sané on the edge of the area, only for Sané to fluff his return ball. It’s been an ineffectual performance from the Bayern forward.

52 min Musiala gets in behind on the left and tries to pick out a teammate, but Juan Pablo Vargas clears. Germany squander the ensuing corner.

Big news from the other game in Group E. Ritsu Doan has brought Japan level with Spain at 1-1 which means that, as things stand, Germany are going out.

Japan's Ritsu Doan scores their first goal.
Japan’s Ritsu Doan puts a spanner in the German works. Photograph: Jennifer Lorenzini/Reuters

Flick seems to be looking for more control in midfield. Klostermann has displaced Kimmich at right-back, with the Bayern Munich man moving into the middle of the park.

Second half kicks off

We’re back under way in Al Khor.

Both sides make half-time changes. Goretzka swaps out for Lukas Klostermann, while Brandon Aguilera makes way for Youstin Salas.

Neil Jones writes in, and he’s disappointed in Germany. “Thomas Müller [is] past it, how is he on there? I know Gnabry’s scored, but his main function seems to be to kick it at the opposition’s legs. Standard of crossing lamentable. Clueless in the box. They’re going to sneak through, aren’t they?”


Germany were in complete control for the first 40 minutes, but the last five minutes illustrated how Costa Rica could still hurt them. La Sele don’t create many opportunities, but they still have the potential to capitalise on individual mistakes and hit back on the counter. Another goal would settle Germany’s nerves but, while they have had little problem creating chances, their finishing has been scattergun. With 12 shots – four on target – but only one goal to show for their efforts, Flick’s side need to kill this game as early as possible in the second half.

45 min Germany bombard Navas’s goal ineffectually, before Costa Rica burst forwards on the counter-attack. They have a momentary four-on-two, but Campbell can’t get the ball out from under his feet and the danger dissipates.

Fans do a Mexican wave during the first half of the game
Fans entertain themselves with a Mexican wave towards the end of the first half. Photograph: Kieran McManus/Shutterstock

41 min Case in point. Raum lets the ball bounce and Fuller latches on to it. He gets the wrong side of Rüdiger and, suddenly, he’s one-on-one with Manuel Neuer. He smashes a shot at goal, which Neuer brushes over with his fingertips. How Germany could do with another goal before half-time.

Germany's keeper Manuel Neuer tips over a shot by Costa Rica’s Keysher Fuller.
Germany’s keeper Manuel Neuer tips over a shot by Costa Rica’s Keysher Fuller. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

39 min Gnabry wraps his foot round the ball in the box and swings a shot just round the far post. Navas breathes a sigh of relief. The score steadfastly refuses to budge beyond 1-0.

35 min Musiala skips into the box once again, shooting wide from a promising position. Germany are well on top, no doubt about it, but they have let a few decent chances pass them by and, as they know all too well from their defeat to Japan, a 1-0 lead certainly isn’t unassailable.

34 min Kimmich has a shot from distance which swerves wickedly in the air, almost wrongfooting Navas. He makes the save but spills the ball, scrambling to tidy up.

Costa Rica's Keylor Navas pounces on the ball.
Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas pounces on the ball. Photograph: Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

Daniel Stauss writes in, and he’s not impressed. “Costa Rica are giving the ball away so cheaply in the middle third. There’s space there to get at Germany, but it’ll never happen with so many easy turnovers.”

28 min Costa Rica have their first half-chance of the game. Bryan Oviedo curls in a cross from the left which falls nicely for Joel Campbell, the mercurial former Arsenal winger. He attempts to hit it on the volley, but scuffs horribly wide.

25 min Musiala, who has been Germany’s biggest threat, has a shot blocked inside the area. Germany have had 72% possession and six shots to Costa Rica’s none, which gives some sense of the pattern of the match.

Germany’s Niklas Süle in action with Costa Rica’s Yeltsin Tejeda.
Germany’s Niklas Süle in action with Costa Rica’s Yeltsin Tejeda. Photograph: Annegret Hilse/Reuters

Richard Hurst shares his thoughts via email: “The HRWC started off with such promise of genuine upsets, but it looks as if we romantics will be disappointed again, with Argentina and Germany going through, and only Belgium going out – and how much of an upset is that, in truth?”

22 min Gnabry and Musiala combine menacingly on the edge of the area, but the attack breaks down when the former fails to control a return ball.

18 min Costa Rica are doing their best to get service to Johan Venegas up front, but Germany’s centre-backs are dealing with the threat well so far. Having come in for a lot of criticism, especially after the defeat to Japan, Niklas Süle has been reasonably self-assured, while Antonio Rüdiger has been solid.

14 min Leon Goretzka beats the offside trap and gets a header on target from close range, but Navas produces a reflex save to deny him.

Germany’s Leon Goretzka heads at goal but is thwarted by a reflex save from Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas.
Germany’s Leon Goretzka is thwarted by Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas. Photograph: Molly Darlington/Reuters

Meanwhile, at Khalifa International Stadium, Spain have just taken the lead against Japan via Álvaro Morata. That’s good news for the Germans.

Spain’s Álvaro Morata heads home
Spain’s Álvaro Morata heads home. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

GOAL! Costa Rica 0-1 Germany (Gnabry 10)

It’s a simple opener for Germany and no more than they deserve after a dominant start. David Raum gets down the left and whips in a cross to Gnabry, who glances a header into the far corner.

Serge Gnabry of Germany scores the opening goal of the game
All eyes are on the ball as Serge Gnabry gives Germany the lead. Photograph: Michael Zemanek/Shutterstock
Serge Gnabry (left) is congratulated by Thomas Müller after giving Germany the lead as Costa Rica’s goalkeeper Keylor Navas and Juan Pablo Vargas show their dejection.
Gnabry (left) is congratulated by Thomas Müller after giving Germany the lead as Costa Rica’s goalkeeper Keylor Navas and Juan Pablo Vargas show their dejection. Photograph: Friedemann Vogel/EPA

7 min Musiala dances into the box and hurdles several attempted tackles, but fails to get a shot away. Costa Rica are living dangerously.

Jamal Musiala of Germany controls the ball in the box.
Jamal Musiala of Germany attempts a Ricky Villa. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Another reader writes in. From Kari Tulinius: “Of all the amazing stories so far in this World Cup, I think it’s getting underplayed how remarkable it is that Costa Rica go into the final game of the group stage still in control of their destiny considering they lost their opening game 7-0. If I think of other teams that got that kind of first game shellacking, like Saudi Arabia in 02 or El Salvador in 82, they were out by game two. Costa Rica have shown immense character.”

4 min Navas makes another save after Gnabry ghosts in behind and lashes a shot on target from a narrowing angle. The assistant’s flag goes up but, regardless, it’s been a shaky start from Costa Rica.

2 min Keylor Navas is called into action almost immediately, keeping out Jamal Musiala at the cost of a corner. Joshua Kimmich’s delivery is cleared.

Kick off!

We’re under way at Al Bayt Stadium.

We have some correspondence. Alexandra Fullerton writes in from a less forgiving time zone: “A very good early morning to you! These 3am matches are killing me but here’s hoping La Sele manage to do it! Once again Pura Vida and thank you again for the commentary. Entertaining and enlightening as always!” Flattery, is it? More please.

The national anthems are done and dusted. Up next, some football.

Players and match officials line up prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Costa Rica and Germany at Al Bayt Stadium
The players get ready to belt out their respective national anthems. Photograph: Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Will we get a low-block masterclass from Costa Rica tonight? Before their collapse against Spain, they had conceded only six goals in 12 games going back to the beginning of the year. Their 1-0 win against Japan – with Keysher Fuller’s winner going down as their only shot on target at the tournament so far – was far more in keeping with their reputation as rearguard specialists. Leroy Sané, Thomas Müller and Serge Gnabry will need to be at the top of their game here.

Beyond the football

As the tournament approaches the knockout stages and events on the pitch take on a life of their own, addressing the human cost of this World Cup remains as urgent as ever. Here’s some pre-match reading.

For those already criticising Frappart’s appointment, Derek Rae, ESPN’s lead Bundesliga commentator, has a concise response.

Still dinosaurs popping up on the timeline talking about “woke” decisions to appoint Stephanie Frappart. Never watched Ligue 1, the Champions League, international football? Appointed because of good performances, just as Bibiana Steinhaus was for years in the Bundesliga.

— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) December 1, 2022

Frappart set to make history

Whatever else happens this evening, Stéphanie Frappart will mark an important milestone. She is about to become the first female referee to take charge of a men’s World Cup match, leading an all-female officiating team alongside assistants Neuza Back and Karen Díaz Medina.

Referee Stéphanie Frappart (centre) and her officiating team Neuza Ines Back (left) and Karen Diaz Medina warm up prior to making World Cup history.
Referee Stéphanie Frappart (centre) and her officiating team Neuza Ines Back (left) and Karen Diaz Medina warm up prior to making World Cup history. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Germany team news

… and here’s Flick’s starting XI.

Germany's keeper Manuel Neuer looks pensive as the players prepare to take to the pitch.
Germany’s keeper Manuel Neuer looks pensive as the players prepare to take to the pitch. Photograph: Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

Costa Rica team news

Here’s how Luis Fernando Suárez’s side line up this evening.


Well, well, well. If it isn’t Germany having an existential crisis at the World Cup, again. Hansi Flick’s side come into this match bottom of Group E after a shock 2-1 defeat to Japan and a dicey 1-1 draw against Spain, meaning they need a win here – and a sympathetic result between Japan and Spain – to avoid going out at the group stage in a repeat of Russia 2018. Costa Rica could make for tricky opponents, having beaten Japan 1-0, or they could be utterly rubbish, having lost 7-0 to Spain. It’s honestly hard to say.

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