Germany, a four-time World Cup champion, was eliminated in the group stage Thursday when Group E finished with a chaotic pair of games. The Germans beat Costa Rica, 4-2, but Japan’s 2-1 win over Spain meant Japan and Spain made it through and Germany had failed to reach the knockout stage for the second consecutive World Cup. Group F shook out earlier, and Morocco was the unexpected group winner after a 2-1 victory over Canada. Croatia and Belgium finished in a scoreless draw, which meant Croatia made it through and Belgium was eliminated early.
World Cup in Qatar
World champions: Argentina has won the World Cup, defeating France in penalty kicks in a thrilling final in Lusail, Qatar, for its first world championship since 1986. Argentina was led by global soccer star Lionel Messi in what is expected to be his final World Cup appearance. France was bidding to become the first repeat champion since Brazil won consecutive trophies in 1958 and 1962.
Today’s WorldView: In the minds of many critics, especially in the West, Qatar’s World Cup will always be a tournament shrouded in controversy. But Qatar’s foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, wants people to take another view.
Perspective: “America is not a men’s soccer laughingstock right now. It’s onto something, and it’s more attuned to what’s working for the rest of the world rather than stubbornly forcing an American sports culture — without the benefit of best-of-the-best talent — into international competition.” Read Jerry Brewer on the U.S. men’s national team’s future.