Four-time champion Germany sensationally crashed out of the World Cup despite a 4-2 victory over Costa Rica in its last Group E match on Thursday, tumbling out at the first hurdle for the second consecutive time.
Germany finished third in the standings, behind Spain on goal difference, with Japan top following its 2-1 win over the Spaniards.
On a night of unrelenting drama in the desert near Doha, the Germans struck first with Serge Gnabry in the 10th minute but saw the Central Americans score twice with Yeltsin Tejeda and Juan Pablo Vargas before a Kai Havertz brace put them back in front.
Fellow substitute Niclas Fuellkrug added a fourth in stoppage time but it could do nothing to prevent their elimination as Spain advanced with a superior goal difference.
It was the first time in its illustrious World Cup history that Germany had failed to win any of its first two group matches and despite bagging a win on its last attempt, it will be departing Qatar with dropped heads.
It was teetering on the brink of elimination going into the game after losing its opening group match to Japan and then snatching a 1-1 draw against Spain.
Needing only victory to avoid a repeat of its shock 2018 World Cup first round exit, Germany, with seven Bayern Munich players in its line-up, charged forward from the start in search of an early goal to settle its nerves.
Jamal Musiala cut from left into the box and tested keeper Keylor Navas with a low drive in the second minute.
It was one-way traffic initially and unmarked Thomas Mueller should have done much better when he was picked out by Joshua Kimmich but could not keep his header on target.
Gnabry, however, scored with his glancing header in the 10th minute to put the four-time champion in front.
Costa Rica, which required at least a point to have a chance to progress, rarely crossed into the German half, with only about 25 per cent possession in the first 45 minutes.
Germany was eager to make amends for its bad tournament start with teenager Musiala repeatedly taking on the entire Costa Rican defence.
The chances kept coming but the Germans, as in the game against Japan, struggled to convert them.
It was almost punished when Keysher Fuller benefitted from a double defensive blunder but his shot was tipped over the bar by keeper Manuel Neuer, who became a World Cup record holder for goalkeepers with his 19th appearance.
With the group standings flashing on the big screen of the Al Bayt stadium, Germany grew nervous with Musiala twice hitting the post early in the second half.
Neuer, however, could do nothing 13 minutes after the restart when Tejeda thundered the ball past him on the rebound after he had first saved a Kendall Waston header.
Vargas then bungled the ball over the line in the 70th minute to put Costa Rica in front.
Substitute Havertz scored twice in 12 minutes and Fuellkrug added another in stoppage time but ultimately it was too little too late with Spain advancing with a superior goal difference.
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