Spain took the lead early in the second half thanks to Alvaro Morata, but another substitute, Fullkrug, changed the dynamic and gave Germany their first point of the 2022 World Cup after their shocking loss to Japan. Germany competed admirably the entire time against a tough Spain team after Hansi Flick made adjustments to the lineup from the previous game. The first period of play saw Antonio Rudiger’s goal getting disallowed for offside, and in the second half, Jamal Musiala’s efforts required an outstanding save from Unai Simon. Morata, who was introduced early in the second half, did succeed in scoring the winning goal for Spain, outplaying Manuel Neuer with a clever flick from close range. However, the German side came back into the match after a goal from substitute Fullkrug to take a point in an enthralling match.
Germany continues to be at the bottom of Group E, but things could have been worse. Had Japan won the encounter with Costa Rica, all hope would have been erased for Germany. With Japan’s loss and the draw with Spain, winning versus Costa Rica would be sufficient for Germany unless Japan managed to win the duel with Spain. The team led by Luis Enrique was unable to replicate the fluidity of their 7-0 victory on Wednesday, but they did advance to the round of 16. Even if Morata, the Spanish goal scorer, had added a second in stoppage time, Germany’s performance had been incredibly positive overall. It would have been even if Niklas Füllkrug, a late-blooming striker who was virtually an afterthought addition to the club in the weeks leading up to this competition, had not helped Flick’s team secure a point. It wasn’t amazing, far from it. Still, it was brimming with all the other qualities that are thought to be extremely helpful in these situations: guts, determination, professionalism, and tactical awareness. In the end, a game that had on match day promised to decide much and ultimately decided little. Spain’s great team could not deliver the statement they had pledged to in their opening fixture.
Spain playing XI: Alba, Busquets, Carvajal, Laporte, Asensio, Unai Simón, Olmo, Rodri, Ferran Torres, Pedri, Gavi
Subs: Azpilicueta, Morata, Sarabia, Koke, Llorente, David Raya, Soler, P. Torres, Robert Sánchez, Hugo Guillamón, Eric Garcia, Fati, Yeremy, Nico Williams, Álex Baldé
Germany playing XI: Neuer, Muller, Gundogan, Rudiger, Sule, Goretzka, Gnabry, Kimmich, Kehrer, David Raum, Jamal Musiala
Subs: Trapp, Gotze, Ter Stegen, Füllkrug, Hofmann, Ginter, Brandt, Günter, Sane, Klostermann, Havertz, Karim Adeyemi, Nico Schlotterbeck, Bella-Kotchap, Youssoufa Moukoko