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World Cup highlights Germany eliminated as Spain, Japan advance from chaotic Group E

Japan scored twice early in the second half against Spain to make a stunning run toward the top of Group E. (Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

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.

Here’s what to know

  • Germany’s failure to advance for the second straight World Cup is a remarkable fall for a national team that won the event in 2014, finished third in 2010 and 2006 and was the runner-up in 2002. Belgium’s early exit is also disappointing for a nation that is ranked No. 2 in the world and finished third in 2018.
  • Both Group E and Group F had surprising group winners. Group E champion Japan will face Croatia in the round of 16 on Monday. Group F winner Morocco will face Spain on Tuesday. Find the knockout round bracket and schedule here.
  • The World Cup continues Friday, when the round of 16 will be set after the finales in Group G and Group H. Find the updated group standings here.
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Here's what to know:

Germany’s failure to advance for the second straight World Cup is a remarkable fall for a national team that won the event in 2014, finished third in 2010 and 2006 and was the runner-up in 2002. Belgium’s early exit is also disappointing for a nation that is ranked No. 2 in the world and finished third in 2018.
Both Group E and Group F had surprising group winners. Group E champion Japan will face Croatia in the round of 16 on Monday. Group F winner Morocco will face Spain on Tuesday. Find the knockout round bracket and schedule here.
The World Cup continues Friday, when the round of 16 will be set after the finales in Group G and Group H. Find the updated group standings here.

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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.

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