April 22, 2024

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Germany, Spain share point in Group E; Croatia eliminates Canada

Germany, Spain share point in Group E; Croatia eliminates Canada

Play in Groups E and F continued Sunday after an action-packed opening week at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

One of the favorites in Group E — four-time men’s World Cup champion Germany — dropped in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Japan on Wednesday. But the Germans were able to bounce back and snag a much-needed point against Spain to keep knockout round hopes alive.

Elsewhere, Croatia eliminated Canada, who is playing in its first World Cup since 1986 and coming off a hard-fought 1-0 defeat against Belgium. Alphonso Davies scored Canada’s first-ever World Cup goal in the second minute, but Croatia came back with vengeance, winning 4-1.

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Croatia's Andrej Kramaric celebrates after scoring in the first half against Canada.

Croatia’s Andrej Kramaric celebrates after scoring in the first half against Canada.

FINAL: Germany, Spain share a point in Group E

AL KHOR, Qatar — Germany forward Niclas Füllkrug salvaged a 1-1 draw against Spain on Sunday at the World Cup.

The Germans still need to win their last group match to have a chance of advancing to the knockout stage. The four-time champions were eliminated in the group stage four years ago in Russia.

Germany will next face Costa Rica, which defeated Japan 1-0 earlier Sunday. Even a win may not be enough for the Germans, who are in last place in Group E and need the other result to go their way.

Spain can reach the last 16 with a draw against Japan. — Associated Press

GOAL! Germany evens it late

Germany won a scrum in front of the net and Niclas Füllkrug knotted the game with a dramatic goal in the 83rd minute.

GOAL! Spain takes 1-0 lead on Germany

Álvaro Morata came off the bench to give Spain a lead, scoring in the 62nd minute. Morata took a lead pass from the left wing and one-timed it to the back of the net.

HALFTIME: Germany, Spain scoreless

Both sides had prime opportunities in the first half: Rudiger’s disallowed goal for Germany and Ferran Torres’ shot off target.

If Germany wins, Group E will be a toss up on the last day with all four teams on three points.

Halftime stats:

Possession: Spain 68{18875d16fb0f706a77d6d07e16021550e0abfa6771e72d372d5d32476b7d07ec}, Germany 32{18875d16fb0f706a77d6d07e16021550e0abfa6771e72d372d5d32476b7d07ec}

Attempts: Spain 4 (1), Germany 3 (1)

Germany goal disallowed

Germany’s Antonio Rüdiger had a 39th-minute goal disallowed after VAR determined the play was offside. Rüdiger found the back of the net with a header off a free kick but was found to be ahead of the Spain defense.

FIFA only began allowing World Cup officials the ability to review video replays to confirm calls in 2018. This year it’s rolling out a new semi-automated, offside technology to enhance its Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Brussels sees riots after Morocco beats Belgium

BRUSSELS — Police had to seal off parts of the center of Brussels, deploy water cannons and fire tear gas to disperse crowds following violence during and after Morocco’s 2-0 upset win over Belgium at the World Cup.

Dozens of rioters overturned and torched a car, set electric scooters on fire and pelted cars with bricks. Police moved in after one person suffered facial injuries, said Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere.

Brussels mayor Philippe Close urged people to stay away from the city center and said authorities were doing their utmost to keep order in the streets. Even subway and tram traffic had to be interrupted on police orders. — Associated Press

HUGE save by Neuer

Legendary goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was called on early to keep Germany in the game. Spain’s Dani Olmo launched a shot from outside the box, assisted by Marco Asensio, toward the goal. Neuer had to stretch his arm to hit the shot off the crossbar and out of danger.

Germany, Spain starting lineups

The Germans are facing a dire situation against fellow European heavyweight Spain, after losing 2-1 to Japan in their opening game.

Germany’s manager Hansi Flick called the game the “first final” as they attempt to avoid a second consecutive group-stage exit. In 2018, Germany was eliminated from the World Cup in its earliest exit in 80 years.

FINAL: Croatia 4, Canada 1

Canada was eliminated from the 2022 World Cup after losing 4-1 to Croatia on Sunday. After losing their opener 1-0 to Belgium, the Canadians took the lead less than 90 seconds into Sunday’s match. But Croatia scored twice just before halftime and added two more in the second half.

Goal! Croatia makes it 3-1 over Canada

Andrej Kramarić scored his second goal of the game in the 70th minute, cooly controlling a diagonal ball from Ivan Perisic, cutting back and slotting into the back of the net with his left foot.

It’s hard to see a way back for Canada now, who will be eliminated with a loss/.

Goal! Croatia takes 2-1 lead on Canada before halftime

Marko Livaja scored from the top of the box after some sloppy Canada defending, putting Croatia ahead in the 44th minute, just eight minutes after the 2018 runners-up found the equalizer.

It’s the second game in a row that Canada have conceded right before the stroke of halftime, with Belgium also scoring in the 44th minute of their opening match.

Goal! Andrej Kramarić ties it up for Croatia

Croatia had been knocking on the door and had a goal called back for offside but in the 36th minute, some clever passing put Andrej Kramarić in on goal and he made no mistake putting it past Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan for the equalizer.

Goal! Alphonso Davies puts Canada up on Croatia

It took less than two minutes for Canada to take the lead, with Alphonso Davies heading home Tajon Buchanan’s cross to beat Dominik Livaković.

The 22-year-old Bayern Munich man’s goal was the first goal Canada has ever scored in the men’s World Cup, days after Davies missed a penalty kick in the opening loss to Belgium.

Canada, Croatia starting lineups

One change for each side with kickoff set for 11 a.m. ET at the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan.

FINAL: Morocco shocks Belgium 2-0, leads Group F

Morocco didn’t back down. In stoppage time, they doubled the score thanks to a substitute again. Zakaria Aboukhlal rocketed a shot to the roof of the goal, assisted by Ziyech. Courtois had no chance of stopping that. The victory is Morocco’s first World Cup win since 1998, third tournament win overall.

Heading into the final set of games, Morocco leads Group F. They are in prime position for a knockout round appearance for the first time since 1986.

On comes Romelu Lukaku

Belgium looks desperate for an answer. Manager Roberto Martinez adds record goal-scorer Romelu Lukaku, who has yet to feature during this World Cup due to injury.

Morocco takes the lead over Belgium

After more than 70 minutes of pressure on Belgium, Morocco break through again. And this one counts. Abdelhamid Sabiri curls a free kick in front of Courtois as Al Thumama stadium fills with cheers.

Morocco has yet to concede a goal this World Cup and could put themselves in prime position to advance to the Round of 16.

Morocco goalkeeper mystery

While Bounou was originally listed on the team sheet as the starting goalkeeper, after a strong shutout performance against Croatia, it’s El Kajoui between the post. There’s some confusion as to why. The Moroccan FA announced the change on Twitter after the game was underway.

Morocco converts free kick, goal disallowed 

Al Thumama Stadium erupted with jubilation from Moroccan fans when Hakim Ziyech scored from a free kick, but video review overturned the goal for an offside call. The teams enter halftime knotted in a scoreless tie.

Courtois’ fancy footwork

With pressure from Morocco, Courtois opts to show off his footwork. The goalkeeper, with the ball at his feet, caught Moroccan forward Youssef En-Nesyri off balance as he rushed in  — a nervy moment from Courtois, but it worked out in the end.

Starting lineups Belgium vs. Morocco 

With a win, Belgium would secure a spot in the Round of 16. A draw between the two teams shifts the pressure to the final round of group stage games.

Belgium (3-4-2-1): Courtois; Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Meunier; T. Hazard, Witsel, Onana, Castagne; E. Hazard, De Bruyne; Batshuayi

Morocco (4-3-3): Munir El Kajoui; Mazraoui, Saiss, Aguerd, Hakmi; Amallah, Amrabat, Ounahi; Boufal, En-Nesyri, Ziyech

Batshuayi had an early chance for Belgium saved by Munir El Kajoui, followed by a couple set piece opportunities.

How do teams advance to the knockout round?

At the FIFA World Cup, the easiest way to advance to the knockout stage is to simply win. But, often times, that is not the case.

Enter the World Cup tiebreakers which determine the final 16 teams in the tournament. During the group stage, countries play the other three teams in their groups once. The top two teams with the most points advance to the knockout stage. A win is worth three points, a draw gets one point and a loss earns nothing.

Scooby Axson explains what happens if teams are tied on points after the final group stage games.

US Soccer shows support for Iranian women ahead of match vs. the country

DOHA, Qatar — U.S. Soccer removed the emblem of the Islamic Republic from the Iranian flag on some of its social media posts as a way of showing support for protests in Iran.

A graphic of the World Cup Group B standings posted on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on Saturday showed a plain green, white and red flag. The banner on the U.S. men’s national team’s Twitter page, which lists the team’s group-stage games at the tournament, was also changed Saturday to feature the Iranian flag without the Islamic Republic emblem. After being up for 24 hours, it was changed back Sunday afternoon to the banner U.S. Soccer had been using during the tournament.

The changes ahead of Tuesday’s game against Iran were intentional, with a U.S. Soccer spokesperson saying it was the federation’s way of showing “support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights.”

The official Iranian flag could still be seen elsewhere on U.S. Soccer’s social media accounts, including on its main web page. The removal of the emblem was not meant to be a permanent protest, and U.S. Soccer’s future posts are expected to use Iran’s official flag.  — Nancy Armour 

Redemption for Costa Rica

Keysher Fuller scored in the 81st minute to lift Costa Rica to a 1-0 victory over Japan on Sunday, leaving both teams with three points after two games in Group E of the World Cup.

Japan has one group game remaining with Spain, and Costa Rica faces Germany in its final group match. With a victory, Japan could have all but wrapped up a place in the knockout stage after a 2-1 upset of Germany in its opener. Costa Rica was pounded by Spain 7-0 in its first game and just trying to survive. — Associated Press

Costa Rica's defender Keysher Fuller celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group E football match between Japan and Costa Rica at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan.

Costa Rica’s defender Keysher Fuller celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group E football match between Japan and Costa Rica at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al-Rayyan.

Navas, Costa Rica defense big saves

Japan made a late push against Costa Rica, but goalkeeper Keylor Navas and the Costa Rican defense put their bodies on the line to hold on to the lead.

Costa Rica breaks through, leads 1-0

After bunkering down in the first half to stay scoreless, Costa Rica breaks through late in the second half. Keysher Fuller shoots from the center of the box. Goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda mistimed his jump and the error cost Japan the opening goal.

Japan back-to-back chances to start half

Japan made two substitutions at halftime, adjusting to a more attacking 3-4-3 formation. Hiroki Ito entered the game as the third center back and Takuma Asano adds to the attack.

In the 50th minute, both Ko Itakura and Wataru Endo had shots blocked. Defender Francisco Calvo made a lunging save to stop Endo’s attempt and keep the score even.

HALFTIME: Japan, Costa Rica 0-0

For Costa Rica, things are going to plan. Los Ticos are sitting back and keeping Japan from running behind their defense. For Japan, it’ll want to make some changes to get a score on the board and keep its Round of 16 hopes alive.

Halftime stats:

  • Possession: Japan 42{18875d16fb0f706a77d6d07e16021550e0abfa6771e72d372d5d32476b7d07ec}, Costa Rica 58{18875d16fb0f706a77d6d07e16021550e0abfa6771e72d372d5d32476b7d07ec}

  • Shots: Japan 2 (0 on target), Costa Rica 3 (0 on target)

Japan vs. Costa Rica underway

Costa Rica is playing for pride after losing its opening game 7-0 to Spain, while Japan looks to prove the win over Germany wasn’t a fluke.

Japan, who pressured Germany early, have stayed back against Los Ticos, splitting the possession battle (Japan 44{18875d16fb0f706a77d6d07e16021550e0abfa6771e72d372d5d32476b7d07ec}, Costa Rica 56{18875d16fb0f706a77d6d07e16021550e0abfa6771e72d372d5d32476b7d07ec}). The best attacking attempt for Japan came from Ritsu Doan, who drove into the box, but his cross was stamped out by goalkeeper Keylor Navas .

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Spain vs. Germany — 2 p.m.

These two European heavyweights had very different experiences in their respective opening World Cup games. While Spain opened with a 7-0 win over Costa Rica, Germany was on the wrong end of one of the more stunning results of this tournament, losing 2-1 to Japan. Die Mannschaft is in a precarious situation. It must earn a result against Spain or find itself on the brink of not getting outside of the group stage in a second consecutive World Cup.

Time: Sunday, Nov. 27 at 2 p.m. ET

Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium

How to watch: FS1 and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

Croatia vs. Canada — 11 a.m.

Playing in its first World Cup since 1986, Canada put forth an inspiring performance in a 1-0 setback to Belgium, the third-place finishers at the 2018 World Cup. Now, Canada must face the 2018 runners-up, Croatia. Canada coach John Herdman added some possible bulletin board material for the Croatians following his team’s loss Wednesday, saying, “I told (the players) they belong here and we’re going to go and F Croatia.” Croatia is coming off a 0-0 draw against Morocco.

Time: Sunday, Nov. 27 at 11 a.m. ET

Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium

How to watch: FS1 and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

Belgium vs. Morocco — 8 a.m.

Morocco earned a scoreless draw against Croatia — the 2018 World Cup finalists — in the opener, and now takes aim at another squad that made a deep run at the last World Cup, Belgium.

Time: Sunday, Nov. 27 at 8 a.m. ET

Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium

How to watch: FS1 and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

Japan vs. Costa Rica — 5 a.m.

After upsetting European powerhouse Germany in its World Cup opener, Japan now faces a Costa Rica team that was run off the pitch, 7-0, by Spain. With another win Sunday, Japan could secure its fourth Round of 16 qualification in the past six World Cups.

Time: Sunday, Nov. 27 at 5 a.m. ET

Stadium: Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

How to watch: FS1 and Telemundo or stream on fuboTV and Peacock (Spanish)

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sunday World Cup recap: Canada eliminated by Croatia; Spain, Germany draw