And simply whenever you thought we achieved peak chaos on the World Cup on Wednesday, we had even ups and downs on Thursday. All 4 groups from Group E — Costa Rica, Germany, Japan, and Spain — had been sooner or later both via to the spherical of 16 or outright eradicated.

Remember to examine in with ESPN all through the event as we deliver you the newest from Qatar. Here is what you might need missed from Thursday’s World Cup happenings, and a stay up for what’s subsequent on Friday.

World Cup news, features, previews and more
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Group E chaos: Japan, Spain in; Germany faces re-boot

At halftime of each of Thursday’s late matches, it appeared as if one of many World Cup’s extra intriguing teams would fall in line as predicted: earlier winners Spain and Germany would advance, whereas Japan and Costa Rica would go dwelling.

By the point the ultimate whistles blew, it was Japan topping Group E after beating Spain, with Germany (sure, the staff with 4 World Cup trophies) becoming a member of Costa Rica on the surface wanting in.

Spain initially had been in management towards Japan after Alvaro Morata’s early aim, with Germany additionally cruising over Costa Rica due to Serge Gnabry‘s Tenth-minute rating. However as we should always at all times anticipate at these tournaments, tables had been turned, the scripts had been flipped, and chaos ensued.

Each Costa Rica and Japan got here out every of their locker rooms after halftime on fireplace, with all sides scoring two objectives of their respective video games, and it was all up for grabs. For a short spell of two minutes, 55 seconds, even Costa Rica — who had misplaced 7-0 to Spain however then rebounded to defeat Japan — had been within the driver’s seat to qualify.

When the mud settled, it was Japan — aided by a controversial VAR resolution — who had been group winners after holding off Spain 2-1. Germany rallied previous Costa Rica 4-2 however it wasn’t sufficient to beat Spain’s superior aim distinction.

What about that Japan aim?

Of explicit observe was Japan’s second and in the end decisive aim. Within the 51st minute, Ao Tanaka buried the ball into the web after Kaoru Mitoma reduce it again from the goal-line. Initially dominated over the road when the assistant’s flag went up, VAR determined that the ball hadn’t totally crossed over and remained in play.

Are you able to see it? Not satisfied? Delve into the small print right here over the VAR resolution right here, or try ESPN’s guidelines knowledgeable extraordinaire Dale Johnson as breaks down the aim that additionally in the end sealed Germany’s World Cup destiny.

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ESPN FC’s Dale Johnson explains why VAR selected to not disallow Japan’s 2nd aim towards Spain.

Finish of period for Germany?

Technically Germany did what it wanted to do. They beat Costa Rica regardless of briefly trailing towards Los Ticos within the second half due to Kai Havertz‘s brace and a late strike by Niclas Fullkrug. However that controversial aim by Japan proved pricey, as did Spain’s aim distinction from their large win over Costa Rica final week.

It is a bitter option to exit the World Cup stage, particularly for a conventional powerhouse akin to Germany. After profitable the 2014 World Cup, it’s two straight exits on the group stage for the four-time winners.

The result’s more likely to result in a serious overhaul in German soccer, with coach Hansi Flick’s place as coach now susceptible. Lengthy-serving gamers akin to Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Antonio Rudiger, Mario Gotze and Ilkay Gundogan additionally might need come to the top of the road on the worldwide stage.

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ESPN FC’s Archie Rhind-Tutt labels Germany’s World Cup exit as a debacle.


Immediately’s prime reads

Ziyech, En-Nesyri help fire Morocco into round of 16
Morocco’s win that put them into the World Cup spherical of 16 as Group F winners was kickstarted by an unlucky error that led to the opening aim.

Croatia keep Belgium’s golden generation trophy-less
Croatia, World Cup runners-up in 2018, keep alive and ship a star-studded however disappointing Belgium facet dwelling.

World Cup’s missing men: What are Salah, Haaland, Benzema doing?
Whether or not on account of not qualifying or harm, a number of the sport’s largest names are nonetheless staying busy (or enjoyable).


Your greatest bets (odds through Caesars Sportsbook)

For those who’re seeking to guess on the World Cup, ESPN contributors Paul Carr, Dan Thomas and Dalen Cuff are right here to provide you key suggestions on odds, options and futures. Here is what we’ve got for the Friday’s matches.

Group G: Cameroon (+750) vs. Brazil (-275), Draw (+375)

Dalen Cuff: If it ain’t broke, do not repair it. I am seeking to money this for a 3rd time. Brazil will dominate the ball and this recreation. Take A Seleção to win to nil (+114).

Paul Carr: By way of two group video games, Brazil had allowed solely 11 pictures and 0.5 anticipated objectives, each among the many three greatest defenses within the event. I’ve lineup issues right here too, although much less so given Brazil’s depth. I just like the win to nil guess rather a lot. I simply wish to see who’s beginning first.

Daniel Thomas: Brazil have been the perfect staff of the event thus far. Even when they relaxation key gamers, they’re nonetheless overwhelmed with high quality. I might go Brazil to win 3-0.

Group G: Serbia (+150) vs. Switzerland (+180), Draw (+230)

Cuff: The Swiss possible will want a draw to advance. They’re a resolute defensive group and Yann Sommer is likely one of the greatest goalies on the earth. Serbia has been in all places on this event, they usually want all three factors to advance. I feel the Swiss handle this recreation properly and get the draw they want (+225).

Carr: Switzerland solely wants a draw to advance, assuming Cameroon doesn’t beat Brazil, and they’re a veteran staff that merely do what is important. They went unbeaten in qualifying, outscoring opponents 15-2 and grinding out attracts of 1-1 and 0-0 with Italy. Serbia’s assault is not fairly clicking (2.1 anticipated objectives via two video games) and Switzerland will proceed that development in a low-scoring recreation. Give me underneath 2.5 objectives at -130.

Thomas: Take the underneath in objectives. This isn’t going to be a enjoyable one to look at.

Group H: Ghana (+390) vs. Uruguay (-140), Draw (+300)

Cuff: Ghana’s matches have been entertaining due to their means to place the ball within the web (5 objectives scored) but in addition their penchant to be scored upon (5 objectives conceded). The Black Stars can possible advance with only a draw (assuming South Korea would not beat Portugal), whereas Uruguay has to win to have any probability. Uruguay has been unfortunate, hitting the bar 3 times in two video games. I feel they’ll capitalize on alternatives, urgent from the kickoff. The Black Stars could get on the board as properly. That is why I like over 2.5 objectives at -105.

Carr: I am on an identical web page, in that Uruguay ought to have a aim or two already, given their 1.9 anticipated objectives. Plus, each of Ghana’s video games have had loads of probabilities, with every staff getting a minimum of 1.0 anticipated objectives in every recreation. I am going to take each groups to attain at -110.

Thomas: I like Ghana right here. They’re an awesome worth at +390. Uruguay has not impressed in any respect thus far.

Group H: South Korea (+375) vs Portugal (-150), Draw (+300)

Cuff: South Korea has to win and generated quite a lot of probabilities towards Ghana. The lineup for already-qualified Portugal shall be fascinating. I am unsure I’ll play this recreation and will certainly wait to see the beginning 11. If it is primarily the group that has led Portugal to wins on this group, I like each groups to attain (-115).

Carr: After what occurred to France‘s sub-optimal lineup on Wednesday, I am not touching this recreation till I see Portugal’s starters.

Thomas: I additionally like each groups to attain, and I feel that is going to be a totally entertaining affair.


Information and notes

  • United States midfielder Christian Pulisic mentioned on Thursday he’ll “do everything in my power” to play in Saturday’s World Cup round-of-16 match towards the Netherlands. Pulisic’s official standing stays day-to-day with a pelvic contusion, in accordance with a U.S. Soccer Federation spokesperson.

  • Brazil soccer legend Pele was recognized with bronchopneumonia after new checks on Thursday at a Sao Paulo hospital, sources told ESPN Brasil. The three-time World Cup winner was initially hospitalised on Tuesday to manage the remedy in his battle towards a colon tumor, his daughter Kely Nascimento mentioned. She added that there was “no emergency” regarding her 82-year-old father’s well being.

  • Mexico’s nationwide groups director Jaime Ordiales mentioned he feels “skilled embarrassment” for the nationwide staff’s early exit from the group stage of the 2022 World Cup and promised a rebuild for the subsequent World Cup cycle. It was Mexico’s worst World Cup exhibiting in 40 years, and El Tri had superior previous the primary spherical within the earlier seven consecutive World Cups.

  • Merritt Paulson announced his intention to sell the NWSL club Portland Thorns amid ongoing strain since allegations of sexual harassment and coercion had been made towards former Thorns supervisor Paul Riley, for which he was fired for trigger in 2015. That strain — from each followers and sponsors — elevated following the discharge of the Yates Report, which detailed systemic sexual and emotional abuse all through the league. Paulson, who additionally owns the Portland Timbers, doesn’t intend to promote the MLS membership.


What else caught our eye

Followers in Morocco are celebrating in full pressure after ending undefeated Group F, organising a tantalizing spherical of 16 matchup with neighbors Spain.

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Tom Hamilton experiences from downtown Doha as Morocco followers take to the streets to have fun their nation’s victory over Canada on the World Cup.

It is a rematch of a 2018 World Cup group stage thriller between La Roja and the Atlas Lions, which resulted in a 2-2 draw. Who’ll get the bragging rights this time round?

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ESPN FC’s Gab Marcotti defends Morocco after Spain end 2nd of their group and face them within the spherical of 16.


Matches on faucet for Friday

Group H: South Korea vs. Portugal (Training Metropolis Stadium, 10 a.m. ET)

All Portugal have to do is keep wholesome and keep away from humiliation to advance, whereas South Korea may use a spark from Son Heung-Min in an effort to have an opportunity of going via. Will we see Cristiano Ronaldo, or will he be rested?

Group H: Ghana vs. Uruguay (Al Janoub Stadium, 10 a.m. ET)

This seismic grudge match — keep in mind Luis Suarez‘s handball as Uruguay knocked the Black Stars out of the 2010 World Cup — has rather a lot on the road as each may advance. Ghana undergo with a win or a draw (if South Korea lose), whereas Uruguay should win (and South Korea lose) to have an opportunity of progressing. Skip some conferences to tune in.

Group G: Serbia vs. Switzerland (Stadium 974, 2 p.m. ET)

There’s quite a lot of hostility right here after their tempestuous meeting at the 2018 World Cup, however victory for both facet secures a spherical of 16 spot.

Group G: Cameroon vs. Brazil (Lusail Iconic Stadium, 2 p.m. ET)

It is unlikely that Brazil lose, however contemplating the chaos in each Teams C and E this week means actually something’s attainable. A Cameroon win with some assist from Serbia/Switzerland would put them within the spherical of 16.



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