The 100th goal of the tournament came in the Canada Morocco match and to great delight in the recesses of The Football Mine it was the first own goal of 2022.
MOROCCO KEEP ON ROCKING
Morocco topped Group F, based on a solid defence that has only conceded one goal in Qatar and previously had four clean sheets going into the tournament. The Atlas Lions finished above 2018 finalists Croatia and 2018 semi-finalists Belgium. The second ranked side exited the tournament after the sixth goalless draw – only one to go to match the most 0-0s at a World Cup.
GERMANY FAIL AGAIN AS JAPAN RISE TO THE OCCASION
Germany’s failure to get out of Group E was their second consecutive early departure from a World Cup, having finished bottom of their group in Russia. Considering their only other exit at this stage of proceedings was in 1938, this was a seismic shock. Japan’s surprise win over Spain, which was secured by one of the most hairline VAR decisions, added to German agony. In finishing top of the group they broke the cycle of alternating between going out at the first hurdle or the Round of 16 as they had done since 1998.
COSTA RICA’S RESURRECTION
For twelve improbable minutes Costa Rica were in the top two of the group and set to qualify which would have been a remarkable achievement considering their shellacking at the hands of Spain in the opening game. But in the end the Germans recovered to beat Los Ticos 4-2 and extinguish any hopes of the biggest comeback in World Cup history.