For 90 minutes, the fortunes of four teams - Spain, Germany, Japan and Costa Rica - shifted and turned in ways that put fans and spectators at the edge of their seats.
Japan eventually topped a group, which comprised two former World Cup winners, while Spain won, mostly by virtue of the 7-0 thrashing it meted out to Costa Rica in its first game.
Germany paid for its capitulation in the first game, while Costa Rica for a brief while, in its clash against Germany, threatened to put both the European sides out of the group stage.
Here is how Group G table positions twisted and turned over 90 minutes on December 2:
When both the games started, Spain and Japan, who were facing each other, where at the top of the group. Spain just needed a point to secure qualification, while the other three had their qualification hopes interlinked with each other.
10’ Gnabry scores
Serge Gnabry scores for Germany against Costa Rica and that put it level with Japan, but behind on goal difference.
11’ Morata scores
Alvaro Morata scores to give Spain the lead in the game and the group and thereby pushing Japan down and Germany ahead in the table.
48’ Doan scores
Japan strikes back straight after the restart through Ritsu Doan to climb back to second.
51’ Tanaka scores
Three minutes later, Ao Tanaka gave Japan the lead, which it maintained throughout, putting it at top of the table and Spain in second. The goal though came in controversial circumstances as the ball looked to have gone out before Tanaka pushed it in.
58’ Tajeda scores
Costa Rica entered the mix after Yeltsin Tejeda pounced on a Manuel Neuer rebound to equalise against Germany and move to third.
70’ Neuer own goal
Costa Rica piled on the pressure and was rewarded with a go-ahead goal, taking it above Spain into third.
73’ Havertz scores
Germany makes it level through Kai Havertz, but the 2014 winner was still at fourth.
85’ Havertz scores again
Havertz found the net again to give Germany the lead back. But it was still only third and wanted Spain to score a goal against Japan to progress.
RELATED FIFA WORLD CUP STORIES
- Japan vs Spain Highlights
- Costa Rica vs Germany Highlights
- Scan the World Cup in pictures
- Football fans, put your skills to the test with FIFA World Cup Quiz
- Soak in the rich history of the football World Cup
- WATCH: What’s happening in Qatar and who is saying what
- Here are some of the most frequently asked questions
Germany scores again to make it 4-2 against Costa Rica, but Japan holds off Spain.
At the end of all the chaos, Japan topped the group, followed by Spain, while Germany exited in the group stage of the FIFA World Cup for the second time running.
- Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023-24: Maharashtra aims to secure spot in knockouts after last season final loss
- Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023-24: Full schedule, teams, squads, date, venues
- Indian team leaves for FIH Women’s Junior World Cup 2023
- NBA In-Season roundup: Cavs recovers, tops 76ers in OT
- Inter Miami says ‘Messi vs Ronaldo’ billed clash against Al Nassr is inaccurate