Due to a late Fullkrug strike, Germany and Spain play out a thrilling tie.
At Qatar’s Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday night, substitute Niclas Fullkrug helped Germany earn a crucial point in a 1-1 draw with Spain to maintain the four-time World Cup champions’ chances of progressing from Group E.
Spain, who outshot Costa Rica seven to one in their opening victory, was threatening right away. Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was immediately called upon to save Dani Olmo’s thunderbolt in the seventh minute after a deft team play by La Roja.
As Germany attempted to turn around their World Cup fortunes after a humiliating 2-1 setback to Japan to start group play on Thursday, Serge Gnabry sent a shot wide of Unai Simon’s far post on the quarter-hour mark.
While Germany had an Antonio Rudiger goal disallowed for offside after a VAR review, Spain continued to possess the superior attacking play of the two sides but lacked a finish. The first half finished scoreless.
When the 2010 winners struggled to play out of the back, Simon was forced to make his first stop in the 56th minute. Kimmich was given the opportunity to fire from just inside the penalty area, but the Spain goalkeeper made an outstanding save.
Alvaro Morata came off the bench for Spain early in the second half, and Luis Enrique’s decision paid off immediately. The Atletico Madrid striker raced his defender to Jordi Alba’s near-cross and deftly flicked it past Neuer to give Spain a well-earned lead.
Jamal Muisala’s attempt with only the keeper to beat in the 73rd minute should have tied the score for Spain, but Simon stopped it to preserve Spain’s lead. Germany, who had not lost three consecutive World Cup games in 60 years, made a valiant effort and should have drew level.
Fullkrug received the ball by chance in the Spain penalty area as time was running out for Hansi Flick. He made no mistake with the finish, hitting a gorgeous shot past Simon to win Germany their first point of the tournament so far.
As a consequence, Spain is in first place in the group with four points, while Germany is in last place with only one. However, Flick’s team may still progress in a number of ways, with the best case scenario being victories against Costa Rica and Japan on Wednesday.
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