The German national soccer team has to solve a complicated task at the World Cup in the evening – and hope. If the DFB team survives the preliminary round, it is worth taking a look at the possible way through the tournament.

At the end of the second week of the tournament in Qatar, the field of participants is sorting itself out almost every hour, and the first decisions have already been made. While higher traded teams like Denmark have to start their journey home after the group stage, co-favorite France, for example, did their duty confidently. The German team has to win and hope at the same time in the evening: just a win against Costa Rica (8 p.m. / ARD, MagentaTV and in the live ticker on and a little help from Spain (or – given the worse goal difference – a lot of help from Japan) bring the four-time world champion after the defeat against Japan in the round of 16.

While progression, which after the significantly improved performance against Spain and the 1-1 draw, is no longer up for debate in the perceived truth of football Germany, is still completely unclear, the other side, the knockout round, is already happening path through the rest of the tournament.

One thing is clear: the team of national coach Hansi Flick – unlike the other three teams in Group E – can only progress in second place. If Japan and Spain separate with a draw and lose the Germany team, revived by Niclas Füllkrug’s equalizer in the Spain game, against Costa Rica, the Central Americans will be group winners and take Spain into the round of 16. Difficult to imagine, but possible. For Germany it is only about second place behind Spain or Japan.

Group E runners-up meet Group F winners next Tuesday (December 6) at 4pm at Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan – and that’s still a long way off. Canada are already eliminated after two defeats, but Croatia, Morocco (both four points each) and Belgium (three points) can still hope to progress and win their group. Croatia and Belgium meet in a direct duel (4 p.m./ ARD, MagentaTV and in the live ticker on, Morocco supposedly has the best cards against Canadians who have already failed, at least to progress safely.

In the quarterfinals on December 10, at 4 p.m. in the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha, the winner of Group H (Portugal with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo or Ghana) or the runner-up in Group G (top favorites Brazil, Cameroon, Serbia or Switzerland). The circle of possible semi-final opponents is already very small: England, Senegal, Poland or world champions France. But first, Costa Rica is waiting. And after that, the German way through the tournament could already be insurmountable.