FIFA World Cup 2022: How can Germany qualify for knockouts after shock defeat against Japan
Japan beat Germany 2-1 at the FIFA World Cup 2022 on November 23
Spain topped the Group E standings after defeating Costa Rica
Germany's next game will be against Spain on November 28
Day 4 of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar saw another major upset, following Argentina's loss to Saudi Arabia on Day 3. While Argentina lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia on November 22, Germany made headlines after suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of Japan on November 23.
Japan came back from a goal down in the first half of the Group E match to win 2-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium. Spain topped the Group E standings at the end of the day, followed by Japan and Germany.
Germany's next game will be against Spain on November 28, followed by a match against Costa Rica on December 2. Here's what Germany needs to do to advance to the knockout stage of the FIFA World Cup.
Germany's knockouts qualification scenario
While the top two teams from each group advance to the Round of 16, Germany must win both of their remaining games to have the best chance of qualifying. Two wins would bring their point total to six and, depending on other results, would guarantee them first place.
However, there is a possibility that three teams from Group E finish with six points, with one of those teams missing out on a knockout spot due to goal difference. This means that Germany must significantly outperform Spain and Costa Rica in order to increase its chances of qualifying.
What happens if Germany loses one more game
If Germany does not win one of its next two games, its progress will be hampered. A draw and a win would leave it with four points, implying that other group results must go in its favour.
If Germany finishes second, the road to a fifth World Cup title will be more difficult than it would like. If the No. 11-ranked team returns with a draw and a win, they will have four points and will be determined by the results of the other teams in the group.
There is one scenario in which Germany could qualify even if it loses one more game in the group stage, but it is conditional. If Germany loses one more game, it must win the other game and then hope that one of Spain, Costa Rica, or Japan wins all of its group games and no games are drawn.
If this scenario plays out, the group leader would have nine points and the rest would have three points, with goal difference again playing a role. Spain's goal difference skyrocketed after thrashing Costa Rica 7-0, which will be crucial to its qualification while also making it more difficult for Germany to qualify.