Costa Rica and Germany played a see-saw encounter in a Group E clash that saw Germany beat Costa Rica 4-2 at the Al-Bayt Stadium on Friday in the ongoing FIFA World Cup.
The win however could not save the four-time champions from an early departure as Germany suffered its second straight exit. They had also failed to reach the 2018 edition's round of 16.
Germany were ahead with a 1-0 lead over Costa Rica but the central American team came out all guns blazing in the second half as they found the back of the net twice through Yeltsin Tejeda in the 58th minute and Juan Pablo Vargas in the 70th minute.
A late resurgence from the German team led by Kai Lukas Havertz saw them score three goals in the last 20 minutes to win the match. Havertz scored in the 73rd and 85th minutes while Niclas Fullkrug found the back of the net in the 89th minute to secure a 4-2 win.
The Germans took the lead almost immediately after the kickoff, with Jamal Musiala testing Kaylor Navas from outside the box.
Musiala's tight dribbling almost created a chance in the seventh minute, while Thomas Muller headed wide from a great Joshua Kimmich cross while unmarked.
But it was just a matter of time before the Mannschaft took the initiative. Musiala, who was in command in the middle, found David Braum on the left wing. Serge Gnabry expertly headed home the fullback's cross in the 10th minute.
The Germans were in full flow, moving the ball quickly and passing with precision. Gnabry and Leon Goretzka came close to doubling their lead with shies at goal soon after.
Costa Rica, on the other hand, stormed back into the game with a wonderful play down the right and a weak parry by Neuer, allowing the ball to fall pleasantly to Yeltsin Tejeda, who was coming in and equalised with a fine low finish to the left corner in the 58th minute.
Following a free-kick into the area from the right side (70th minute), Juan Pablo Vargas bundled the ball over the line to put the Central Americans ahead and through with Japan.
Despite several spectacular saves by Navas, the German blitzkrieg proved too powerful. Kai Havertz came on and scored two goals off superb German movements (73rd and 85th minutes), while Niclas Fullkrug came on and added another (89th minute) to give the Germans the victory.
But the triumph was in vain, as Japan finished first in Group E, a group that proved to be the group of death after a series of fierce clashes, with six points. Spain finished second on four points, one point ahead of Germany.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )