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Spain 1-1 Germany: Niclas Fullkrug equaliser cancels out Alvaro Morata goal as World Cup Group E goes to wire

Nick Wilhelm

Updated: Nov 28, 2022 01:40

Spain 1-1 Germany: Niclas Fullkrug equaliser cancels out Alvaro Morata goal as World Cup Group E goes to wire

freikurg

Niclas Fullkrug celebrates after he equalises for Germany against Spain

At the Al Bayt Stadium, Germany just about maintained their World Cup campaign after Niclas Fullkrug's late goal saved a 1-1 draw with Spain.

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Match report as Niclas Fullkrug's equaliser earned Germany a valuable point against Spain in World Cup Group E. Hansi Flick's side remain bottom of the table but can still qualify for the knockout stages with victory over Costa Rica if results go their way

After Spain took the lead early in the second half thanks to Alvaro Morata, 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 that game. In the first half, Antonio Rudiger's goal was disallowed for offside, and in the second, Jamal Musiala forced an outstanding save from Unai Simon.

Morata, who was introduced early in the second half, did succeed in scoring the winning goal for Spain, outdueling Manuel Neuer with a clever flick from close range. After Musiala's turn, Fullkrug came back with a furious finish, and Germany won the match.

Germany continues to finish last in Group E, but things could have been worse. The 2014 World Cup champions would have been eliminated with one game remaining to play if Japan had not fallen to Costa Rica earlier in the day.

Due to this draw, winning versus Costa Rica would be sufficient unless Japan managed to surprise Spain once more. The team led by Luis Enrique was unable to duplicate the fluidity of their 7-0 victory on Wednesday, but they did advance to the round of 16.

morata

Alvaro Morata's deft touch put Spain 1-0 up early in the second half

What the result means...

There were times when it seemed like a heavyweight match because it was the only group-stage game featuring two previous World Cup champions. Both teams made an effort to play from the back. Both sides made an effort to press their opponents further up the field.

There were both good and bad times. For the first goal, Niklas Sule's poor defence let Morata in, and Spain also shown weaknesses. This World Cup appears to be marked by a struggle for consistency. Only France has two victories.

Unless Japan beats Spain, they will advance to the knockout rounds if they defeat Costa Rica by two goals or more. If Germany only wins by one goal, Japan could be able to hold on for a draw; in that case, the head-to-head record would be used before goals scored.

It would take some strange outcomes for Spain to be eliminated, such as a crushing German victory and a four-goal or more loss to Japan. The situation is a little clearer for Costa Rica. They are aware that in order to advance, they must improve Japan's results.

The game in stats

For the first time in its history, Germany has lost both of its opening two group stage games at a single World Cup.

In their last 19 World Cup group stage games, Spain has only suffered three losses. In eight competitive games this year, Germany has failed to keep a clean sheet.

Alvaro Morata became just the third player to score in each of his first two World Cup games after coming off the bench.

Since Mario Gotze's goal against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final, Niclas Fullkrug scored Germany's first World Cup goal as a replacement.

Jordi Alba has contributed two assists during this World Cup after going without one in seven games during the previous two competitions.

Elsewhere at the World Cup

Sunday began with a surprise result as Costa Rica defeated Japan and a day of upheaval continued when Morocco surprised the team ranked second in the world with a 2-0 win over Belgium. The elimination of Canada from Group F followed as they were beaten 4-1 by Croatia despite taking the lead with their first-ever World Cup goal.

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