Group E at the 2022 World Cup was dubbed the “Group of Death” heading into the tournament and after two matchdays, we are seeing why those distinctions were made. Spain, Germany, Japan and Costa Rica are all still alive when it comes to qualification for the knockout stage. Here’s a look at the scenarios for Group E heading into the final matches.
Qualified: Japan, Spain
Update: Japan defeated Spain 2-1 to win the group, while Spain got some help from Germany as the European side defeated Costa Rica 4-2. Spain had the goal differential tiebreaker over Germany and advances as the second-place team in the group.
Spain lead the group with four points and can get to the knockout stage with a win or draw against Japan. A loss would be enough for Spain if Costa Rica-Germany ends in a draw or Germany wins and loses out on the tiebreaker to Spain. Spain had a 7-0 win over Costa Rica in the opener, so goal differential is going to go Spain’s way in most instances.
Japan would be into the knockout round with a win over Spain. A draw would put Japan in tiebreakers if Costa Rica-Germany ends in a draw or Germany wins. A loss would be curtains for Japan.
Costa Rica can advance to the knockout round with a win over Germany and a Japan draw or loss. A Costa Rica draw would put the team in tiebreakers with Japan or Germany as long as Japan don’t win. If Costa Rica lose, that’s a wrap.
Germany need a win along with either a Japan loss to secure qualification. A Spain-Japan draw would put Germany in tiebreakers with Japan, while a Japan win would put Germany in tiebreakers with Spain. A Germany draw or loss would send the team home.
Here’s a more condensed look at potential paths in Group E.
Spain win or draw: Qualify for knockout round
Spain loss: Tiebreakers in play if Costa Rica-Germany ends in a draw or Germany win, eliminated if Costa Rica win
Japan win: Qualify for the knockout round
Japan draw: Tiebreakers in play if Costa Rica-Germany ends in draw or Germany win, eliminated if Costa Rica win
Japan loss: Eliminated from contention
Costa Rica win: Qualify for knockout round
Costa Rica draw: Tiebreakers in play if Japan-Spain ends in draw, qualify if Spain win, eliminated if Japan win
Costa Rica loss: Eliminated from contention
Germany win: Tiebreakers in play if Japan-Spain draw or Japan win, qualify if Spain win
Germany draw or loss: Eliminated from contention