Following Germany’s opening day loss against Japan, they may face elimination if results go against them.
Sunday promises to be an interesting day of World Cup action with 2014 champions Germany seeing their tournament hopes hang in the balance as Group E and F play out their second matchday.
See fixtures in full below:
Japan v Costa Rica (10am)
As far as Japan are concerned, they’ve already been a success this year following their 2-1 victory over Germany, but they’ll be looking to make it six points against a whimpered Costa Rica.
A determined second half from Japan was the defining point against Germany as two goals in the last twenty minutes gave them a historic win and a start to the World Cup they could’ve only dreamt of.
Meanwhile, Costa Rica are on the complete other end of the spectrum as they were thumped 7-0 by Spain on Wednesday, the biggest margin of defeat in the competition so far. In what’s already a tough group, they’ve made it a lot more difficult for themselves and need a win against Japan.
Their elimination will be confirmed if they fail to win and Spain beat Germany.
Belgium v Morocco (1pm)
Group F gets back up and running with Belgium v Morocco, two sides that would’ve only been satisfied with their opening games.
Belgium top the group with a win but they were extremely lucky to get the better of a Canadian side that had 22 attempts against the Europeans but weren’t clinical enough. Thibaut Courtois saved an Alphonso Davies penalty that would’ve changed the game had it hit the back of the net.
Morocco defended well to salvage a point against 2018 finalists Croatia in a game they were written off before it had started. If they can defend the same way against a Belgian side that looked dogged against Canada, they can keep their qualification hopes alive.
Croatia v Canada (4pm)
The remaining sides in Group F would have both came out of their openers frustrated as they failed to win games they would have felt they deserved.
For a nation that haven’t kicked a ball in the World Cup since 1986, Canada looked like they had never left and caused Belgium serious problems but they just lacked a cutting edge in the final third with roughly 15% of their attempts hitting the target.
And Croatia would find themselves in the same boat with a frustrating 0-0 draw against Morocco. Zlatko Dalic’s men looked slow with 37-year-old Luka Modric still running the show and will see their last-16 hang by a thread if they continue in that manner.
The two nations have never met before so it will be intriguing to see how the game pans out.
Spain v Germany (7pm)
Spain and Germany will enter Sunday evening’s clash with polar opposite morale following Matchday 1.
A 7-0 win over Costa Rica was the perfect way for Luis Enrique and Spain to get their tournament started and sent out a statement to the other nations. Spain had their critics ahead of the tournament but would’ve certainly proved them wrong.
Germany, on the other hand, will have their heads hanging low following their shock defeat against Japan on Wednesday. To put it bluntly, they simply weren’t good enough and underestimated their opponents and have a mountain to climb now to avoid a repeat of 2018.
Spain were 6-0 winners over the Germans back in 2020 in the Nations League and sealed a 1-0 victory the last time they faced in the World Cup. Germany will need to be at the top of their game to beat the Spaniards, as another loss and a Japan win will see them knocked out at the group stage for a second consecutive tournament.