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Four-time champions Germany seek victory against Spain to stay alive in World Cup

DOHA: Four-time champions Germany head into its second game seeking an easy victory against 2010 champions Spain to avoid a second consecutive early World Cup exit.

Spain routed Costa Rica 7-0 in its opening match for the most lopsided game of this year’s tournament while Germany lost to Japan 2-1.

“We are optimistic,” Germany coach Hansi Flick said on Saturday. “We have to be brave and believe in our quality. We want to stick to our game because we have the quality. We trust the team. We’re positive and just really want to see that we approach this game on Sunday against Spain positively.”

It was the largest margin of victory for La Roja in a World Cup game and its first opening-match win since 2006.

Germany should be concerned about its fate as it tries to avoid losing three consecutive World Cup games.

Prior to Germany’s early elimination in 2018, the men’s team had not failed to advance out of group stage since 1938.

Spain and Japan lead Group E with three points each, while Germany and Costa Rica have no points.

Spain has only won its first two games of a World Cup three times, and not since 2006, so coach Luis Enrique has cautioned his group about being too confident.

“Against a team like Germany we can’t be overconfident otherwise they will trounce you,” Luis Enrique said. “It’s a rival that requires all of our attention and effort. It’s a great challenge for us.”

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