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Today at World Cup: Germany at the edge of Spain showdown

Spain and Germany will face each other in Group E of the World Cup on Sunday, while Japan will look for two straight victories when they take on Costa Rica.

Belgium can book their place in the last 16 with a win over Morocco, while Croatia are looking to make the Canadian coach eat his words when they meet at the Khalifa International Stadium.

On Saturday, Lionel Messi helped Argentina kick-start their campaign with a 2-0 victory over Mexico, as Poland beat Saudi Arabia to leave Group C wide open. France became the first nation to reach the knockout stage after beating Denmark, while Australia took control of qualification after passing Tunisia.

This is where the PA news agency keeps track of events in Qatar.

Flick seeks improvement

Having seen his side make headlines for both their pre-match protest and subsequent shock defeat to Japan in the opening Group E game, German boss Hansi Flick knows they cannot afford an underperformance against Spain if they have a new want to avoid early World Cup. Exit.

“We talked about the game. We are really convinced of our philosophy, how we want to play football and of course we are going to try to do better,” said Flick.

After Spain ran out to a comfortable 7-0 victory over Costa Rica, head coach Luis Enrique expects a much tougher test. “We’re dealing with an opponent we can’t be too confident against or they’ll knock us down,” he said.

Samurai Blue goes again

Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu, who upset the four-time world champion to start the tournament on a high, wants his side to be fully focused again for the encounter with Costa Rica.

Moriyasu knows you’re only as good as your next game – which is exactly when Costa Rica is out to restore some pride. “The past achievement should be forgotten, because there is no time for complacency,” he said.

Danger in the groove

Eden Hazard may have struggled with form and fitness at Real Madrid this season, but he can’t wait to get back into World Cup action for Belgium against Morocco as Roberto Martinez’s side look to build on their opening win over Canada.

“So far I feel great,” said Hazard. “I played 65 minutes, I played well, but I think we can all improve as a team.”

Croatia is looking for a little respect

Canada boss John Herdman ruffled more than a few feathers in Croatia’s camp with his choice words in a team post-game post-match in Belgium. “I told them they belong here. And we’re going to Croatia,” was Herdman’s sanitized version in a post-match interview.

Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic will need few team talks to get the team motivated as the 2018 runners-up look to improve after an opening goalless draw against Morocco. “This way of putting words together is not a sign of respect,” he said.

Messi makes his mark

Moments of class from Lionel Messi and substitute Enzo Fernandez helped Argentina to their first Group C win after beating Mexico 2-0 on Saturday night.

Elsewhere, Robert Lewandowski’s first goal in the World Cup final sealed Poland’s 2-0 victory over Saudi Arabia – but only after former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny produced a brilliant double save from a Saudi penalty kick.

Come on Les Bleus

Kylian Mbappé scored twice as world champions France beat Denmark 2-1 to secure a place in the knockout stages with one game to spare.

In Saturday’s other Group D match, a stunning header from Mitchell Duke saw Australia win 1-0 against Tunisia to take qualification into their own hands.

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Who’s next

Group E: Japan v Costa Rica (10am, ITV1) Group F: Belgium v ​​Morocco (1pm, BBC1) Group F: Croatia v Canada (4pm, BBC1) Group E: Spain v Germany (7pm, BBC1)

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Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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