May 20, 2024

Niclas Fullkrug’s late goal salvaged a 1-1 draw with Spain as Germany just about kept their World Cup campaign on track at the Al Bayt Stadium.

Alvaro Morata had come off the bench to give Spain the lead earlier in the second half but fellow substitute Fullkrug fired beyond Unai Simon to change the mood as Germany earned their first point of the 2022 World Cup following their shock defeat to Japan.

Hansi Flick made changes to the team from that game and Germany competed well throughout against a strong Spain side. Antonio Rudiger had a goal disallowed for offside in the first half and Jamal Musiala forced a really good stop from Unai Simon in the second.

Morata, introduced early in the second half, did manage to find the finish for Spain, his deft flick from close range proving too good from Manuel Neuer. But Fullkrug found the response with a fierce finish after Musiala’s turn and Germany finished the stronger.

They remain bottom of Group E but the situation could have been worse. Had Japan not lost to Costa Rica earlier in the day then defeat to Spain would have been enough to eliminate the 2014 World Cup winners with a match still left for them to play.

This draw means that victory over Costa Rica would be enough unless Japan pull off another unexpected result against Spain. As for Luis Enrique’s side, they could not match the fluency of their 7-0 win on Wednesday but do have one foot in the last 16.

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