Assessing Spain’s options going into their final World Cup group game

Spain were left a little disappointed by their 1-1 draw against Germany on Sunday night, feeling they might have won the match. However it does still leave them top of the group, and firmly in control of their own fate. As Luis Enrique pointed out, the beforehand they would have taken it before the tournament.

Spain sit on four points, with Japan on three, Costa Rica on three and Germany on a single point ahead of the final group game on Thursday at 20:00 CEST.

With La Roja taking on Japan, they know victory will guarantee them top spot in the group. A draw would qualify them for the next round, but if Costa Rica were to pull off a shock win over Germany, they would finish second.

Defeat would leave the matters out of their hands, but likely still in the next round with Japan. If that were the case and Costa Rica won, they would be eliminated.

Should they lose to Japan and Germany win or draw against Costa Rica, it will come down to goal difference. Currently with a goal difference of +7, compared to -1 for Germany and -6 for Costa Rica, a stalemate would eliminate Costa Rica and send Spain through unless their defeat was by 14 goals. If Germany win, then it would take an nine-goal swing between themselves and die Mannschaft.

Looking ahead to the knockout stages, should they both make it as top of their groups and through the second round, Spain are on course to meet the powerful looking Brazil in the quarter-finals.

Provided they do top the group, Spain will face one of Croatia, Morocco or Belgium in the Round of 16 – as will be the case if they finish second. However in that case they would fall into the other side of the draw.

Regardless of who they face, Luis Enrique’s side are unlikely to fear anyone. As they showed against Germany, their approach will not differ greatly.

Tags 2022 World Cup Costa Rica Germany Japan Spain La Roja
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