Niclas Füllkrug secures a point for Germany
Germany and Spain played to a 1-1 tie in the Al Bayt Stadium in a match that was evenly balanced, leaving Germany's fate at the FIFA World Cup in their own hands.
Despite their initial 2-1 loss to the Samurai Blue, Germany's hopes of moving on to the Round of 16 were improved by Costa Rica's 1-0 victory against Japan earlier in the day. However, it was a daunting challenge to score against a Spanish team that was unstoppable in their 7-0 victory on matchday one. Early on, Luis Enrique's team controlled possession; only a fantastic one-handed save from Manuel Neuer prevented Dani Olmo from striking viciously.
While Unai Simón appeared to have stopped Antonio Rüdiger's header from Joshua Kimmich's free kick, Die Mannschaft appeared to have grabbed the lead the longer the first half went on. However, German joy was short-lived as the goal was swiftly ruled out for offside. Although the opponent defense was occasionally high and Spain sought to put Olmo in behind it, Hansi Flick's backline appeared to be much more at ease than it had in their previous match.
Before the half, Germany rarely threatened, but after the break they seemed more dangerous, and their intense pressure gave Joshua Kimmich a chance. Contrary to Neuer, who was beaten by substitute Alvaro Morata's flick at the other end, Simón was up to the challenge. Jordi Alba spotted the striker at the near post, and he finished expertly to put Germany under a lot of pressure.
Flick took a chance and made three substitutions, two of which—Leroy Sané and Niclas Füllkrug—were crucial to the equalizer. A ball was bundled through to Füllkrug by the excellent Jamal Musiala after the former's sprint and pass found him. Despite having just three international appearances to his name, Werder Bremen striker buried his shot with the assurance of a player with far more international experience.
Germany still has just one point in Group E, but if they defeat Costa Rica by two goals in their final game, they will advance unless Japan loses to Spain. While Enrique and company will be seeking a win to ensure first place, they simply need a draw to advance.