Fullkrug earns Germany 1-1 draw with Spain but they remain bottom of Group E

Germany gained their first point of the 2022 World Cup after a 1-1 draw with Spain in what was a tight affair at Al Bayt Stadium. 

Both goals came from substitutes in the second half, in a game in which Spain dominated possession but Germany had the more chances. 

The Spainards knew a win would all but confirm their place in the knockout stages due to their large goal difference after a 7-0 opening victory over Costa Rica. 

Germany, however, had it all to lose after an opening loss against Japan, and knew that a loss would leave them wallowing at the bottom of Group E with 0 points from 2 games and with it all to do against Costa Rica on Thursday. 

A nicely worked move in the sixth minute culminated in a right-footed Dani Olmo strike which was pushed onto the crossbar by German keeper Neuer and went out for a corner. 

Germany responded with a ninth minute counterattack in which Muller slid the ball into Gnabry but Unai Simon was quick to step off his line and produce a smart stop. 

One of the best chances of the half saw Olmo slide a ball across for Ferran Torres who skied the ball over from close range, luckily for him the linesman rose his flag for offside to spare his blushes. 

Germany thought they took the lead on the 40th minute from a great Antonio Rudiger header from a Joshua Kimmich ball, however the goal was chalked off by VAR due to Rudiger edging slightly offside in the build-up. 

The first half finished goalless, in a half that saw the Germans nullify the team that were 3-0 at this stage in their opener. 

The first real chance of the second half again came from a Simon error, the ball falling this time to Kimmich who’s shot was parried away and out for a corner, which came to nothing. 

The deadlock was broken on the 62nd minute when Alvaro Morata, for the second game running, came off the Spain bench to score. Jordi Alba played the ball through to Morata who’s right-footed flick deceived Manuel Neuer. 

Morata later told BBC Sport: “The most important thing is to win, but they scored an amazing goal, and it was unlucky we didn’t have the victory. We will keep training with good, positive vibes.” 

The game then seemed to switch into a tactical battle between the coaches, with both Luis Enrique and Hansi Flick calling on their benches to make an impact in the latter stages. 

Germany worked hard as a team to neutralise the Spanish danger, but their clear weakness was their lack of an offensive threat themselves. 

19-year-old Jamal Musiala did appear to be Germany’s biggest menace, and on the 72nd minute had his shot turned away from close range by Simon, however this was a significant improvement from the Germans who were still in the tie. 

Germany then levelled the game on the 83rd minute through a substitute of their own as Niclas Füllkrug scored a well-taken finish on the right-hand-side, once again reinforcing this tactical battle between the coaches. 

Ilkay Gundogan later told BBC Sport: “Then Niclas scored, the finish was unbelievable. A typical striker, a typical number nine, and he really stepped up when we needed him. We are very happy about that!” 

Additional time had caused much controversy at the World Cup so far, however, as was reflective of the close nature of this affair 6 minutes were added at the end of the second half. 

A sensational tackle from Goretzka led to a 95th minute counterattack in which Musiala attacked down the left side and round the goalkeeper before failing to square it to Gnabry. 

This was the last action in what was an eventful draw between the sides and going into the next round of fixtures. Germany will be hoping Spain do them a favour against Japan to help their chances of qualifying. 

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