Against Costa Rica: Lahm scores first goal of summer fairy-tale of 2006
This Thursday evening, the German national team will battle Costa Rica for a place in the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup. Costa Rica? That's right, it rings a bell! 16 years ago, in the opening match of the World Cup in Germany featuring the home team against Costa Rica in Munich's Allianz Arena, Bayern legend Philipp Lahm scored the first goal of the tournament - and thus gave the starting signal for the 'summer fairy-tale' of 2006!
Lahm breaks the deadlock after six minutes
The home World Cup was just six minutes old when the then 22-year-old curled the ball into the corner from the left edge of the penalty area. The shot was unstoppable for Costa Rica goalkeeper José Francisco Porras and Germany had a perfect start. Miroslav Klose (17', 61') contributed a double strike on his 28th birthday. Torsten Frings (87') was the other German scorer in the 4-2 win for the team coached by Jürgen Klinsmann, which sparked a wave of euphoria across the country over the next few weeks. Even though Germany only finished in third place, the summer of 2006 will live forever in the memory of the local fans.
16 years later, seven Germany internationals from FC Bayern want to herald another wave of tournament euphoria across the country. For Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller and Co., anything other than a win against Costa Rica is not an option if they're to progress to the knockout stage. The DFB team is also dependent on the outcome of the parallel match between Spain and Japan.
FC Bayern players Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano and Kingsley Coman have already qualified for the last 16 as group winners despite losing their last game: