FIFA World Cup Group E qualification scenarios: How are Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica placed ahead of final group stage match?

Heading into the final set of Group E matches, Spain sits at the top and is likely to qualify for the round of 16 but none of the four teams is guaranteed a spot in the knockouts.

Alvaro Morata of Spain scores against Germany.

Alvaro Morata of Spain scores against Germany. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Heading into the final set of Group E matches, Spain sits at the top and is likely to qualify for the round of 16 but none of the four teams is guaranteed a spot in the knockouts.

Heading into the final set of Group E matches, Spain sits at the top and is likely to qualify for the round of 16 but none of the four teams is guaranteed a spot in the knockouts.

In the second round, Niclas Fullkurg scored in the 83rd minute to rescue Germany against Spain as the match ended in a 1-1 draw. It kept Die Mannschaft’s knockout hopes alive.

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Meanwhile, Costa Rica secured a win against Hajime Moriyasu’s Japan. Keysher Fuller’s 81st minute strike was enough to seal the victory for Costa Rica.

As things stand, the group is wide open and any two of the four teams can book a round of 16 spot.

PositionTeamsMatches playedWinDrawLossGFGAGDPoints
1Spain21108174
2Japan21012203
3Costa Rica 210117-63
4Germany201123-11

How can Spain qualify?

Spain takes on Japan on December 2 (IST) at the Khaifa International stadium. La Furia Roja will secure a place in the knockouts with a win or a draw. It can also afford a defeat, but its qualification will come down to goal difference. A loss to Japan coupled with a Costa Rica victory over Germany will result in Spain getting knocked out.

How can Japan qualify?

A win against Spain, although highly improbable, will ensure a Round of 16 spot for Moriyasu’s side. If the match ends in a draw there are two possible outcomes for Japan - if Costa Rica vs Germany ends in a draw, Japan goes through although if Costa Rica manages a win against Germany, Japan will be knocked out. Goal difference will come into play if Japan draws against Spain and Germany registers a win. Japan will get knocked out straightaway if it loses against Spain.

How can Costa Rica qualify?

Costa Rica can progress into the knockouts with a win against Germany. It can also manage to scrape through with a draw under one condition - Spain beats Japan. If Luis Fernando Suarez’s side plays out a draw and Japan manages a win against Spain, goal difference will decide its fate. If both games are drawn, or Costa Rica loses, Costa Rica will be knocked out of the tournament.

How can Germany qualify?

Germany needs an outright win against Costa Rica to stay in contention for a knockout spot. A win against Costa Rica combined with Spain’s win over Japan will guide Hansi Flick’s side into the knockouts. If Japan manages to win or draw against Spain, goal difference comes into play and Germany will have to win by a margin of two or more goals. Any other result will mean that Die Mannschaft will get eliminated.

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