Germany will battle to avoid the humiliation of another first-round exit at the World Cup on Thursday while Belgium’s “golden generation” will be fighting for their lives when they face Croatia. Despite being holders, Germany were eliminated at the group stage four years ago in Russia, and they are desperate to avoid a repeat when they play Costa Rica in Group E. The Germans suffered a stunning opening defeat to Japan but salvaged a draw with Spain in their next game. Germany must beat Costa Rica to stand a chance of progressing, and even then goal difference could still be a factor. Costa Rica began their campaign on the wrong end of a 7-0 defeat to Spain but they proved their mettle with a subsequent 1-0 win over Japan and are still in contention to qualify. Germany coach Hansi Flick laughed off suggestions he would lose his job if his side crashed out. “You never know what’s around the corner but I am looking forward to Germany’s home European Championship (in 2024),” he said. Sponsored by Vuukle “I have a contract until 2024. But that’s still a long way away.” Spain are not yet assured of their place in the… Read full this story
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