Thomas Muller says Germany's World Cup exit after beating Costa Rica 'unbelievably bitter'

Germans won their final Group E match 4-2 but Spain advance as runners-up despite losing to Japan

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Thomas Muller described Germany's second successive first-round exit from the World Cup as an "absolute catastrophe" while teammate Kai Havertz likened it to "watching a horror movie".

Germany beat Costa Rica 4-2 on Thursday while Spain's defeat to Japan left both Spain and Germany on four points but saw the Spaniards advance to the last 16 on goal difference.

"It is unbelievably bitter for us because our result would have been enough," Muller said of Spain's 2-1 loss to surprise Group F winners Japan.

"It's a feeling of powerlessness."

Muller was part of the 2014 World Cup-winning team and was also in the side that was eliminated at the same stage four years ago in Russia.

Havertz said the fact Germany only discovered their fate Thursday when the result of the game between Japan and Spain was displayed on the stadium's big screen made it even more difficult.

"When it happens this way, it feels like watching a horror movie," said Havertz, who scored two goals against Costa Rica after coming off the bench.

"We learned during the match that Japan were leading, and then the group standings were displayed in the stadium. We still had a little hope that Spain would score.

"But then we noticed that the Japan match was over."

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Havertz blamed the team's performance against Japan for their elimination and hinted that all was not well in German football.

"When you go out twice in the first round and once in the round of 16, it's extremely bitter," he said, the latter a reference to Germany's second-round exit to England at Euro 2020.

"We have to be honest and say that for four years, everything hasn't been going well.

"Now we've been knocked out twice in the group stage. I don't think we're a tournament team anymore."

Coach Hansi Flick, who is under contract until Euro 2024 which will be held in Germany, said he had no plans to step down but admitted "it won't be up to me".

"From my side, there is no reason not to continue," he added. "I enjoy it, we have good players coming through."

Updated: December 02, 2022, 9:48 AM