Germany are not looking to beat Costa Rica by a wide margin in their final Group E match at the World Cup in Qatar on Thursday, and will be hoping a simple victory will be enough to see them through to the last 16. end of the tournament.
The four-time world champions must take all three points if they are to have any chance of progressing, and at the same time they will receive updates on the other match between Spain and Japan that will decide the final group standings.
Victory over Costa Rica, who lost 7-0 in their opener to Spain, along with a Spanish win against Japan, would see the Germans through to the Round of 16 along with the Spaniards.
A draw between Spain and Japan, or even a victory for the Asians, would take the equation to goal difference.
“I think against Costa Rica we’ll be in the penalty area a lot of time compared to our game against Spain and there it will come down to how we play in the penalty area,” attacking midfielder Thomas Mueller told a news conference on Tuesday.
“We have a lot of humility. We have a point and a goal down on balance, so there’s no reason to be really euphoric.”
The Germans suffered a 2-1 defeat by Japan on their opener before managing to a 1-1 draw against Spain thanks to striker Niclas Fuellkrug’s late equalizer to stay alive in the tournament.
“But we still have a chance to step up and show the world of football what we have,” said Fuellkrug.
With the final games of the group being played simultaneously, the Germans will keep an eye on Spain, hoping that the ranking will not be decided by goal difference.
“It’s important to simultaneously monitor the other game because you can slightly adapt your strategy accordingly,” Mueller said.
“We want to play the best game possible and win it, but I don’t think you can say that an 8-0 is a realistic concept at a World Cup.”
Asked whether Fuellkrug’s goal against the Spaniards was a turning point for Germany’s tournament campaign, Mueller, playing in his fourth World Cup, said: “We’re going to need more of the golden moments that are needed for such a tournament process.”
As for rookie Fuellkrug, who at 29 made his debut just days before the World Cup, that goal wasn’t going to divert his focus.
“It’s still only 1-1, but it gives us energy,” said Fuellkrug. “The work continues. We have to be realistic. We are in a situation where we can move forward, but it’s not all in our hands.”
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