Four-time World Cup champion Germany forced a 1-1 deadlock against Spain in their FIFA World Cup 2022 match at the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar over the weekend.
Substitute Niclas Füllkrug knocked in a goal in the 83rd minute, allowing Germany to fend off a second straight early elimination. A loss would have left them in a more difficult position.
Füllkrug, in an Associated Press (AP) report, said it was crucial for them to get to the point of having a chance to get through to the next round.
“We can now go into the last game with a good feeling and hope that everything goes well,” he said.
Germany pushes for the finest
Germany faces a do-or-die scenario when it collides with Costa Rica on Thursday. The latter eked out a 1-0 win over Japan earlier. Yet a win might not even save the Germans.
Should Germany and Spain win, both will advance. But if Spain draws with Japan, Germany will have to overcome a goal-difference deficit against the latter. However, if Japan triumphs, the Germans will have to topple the Spaniards, which blanked Costa Rica (7-0) via goal difference to stay alive.
Germany coach Hansi Flick, who was satisfied with his team’s recent performance and attitude, said he hopes their victory gives them the needed morale booster.
“We know that this was the first step and we want to see against Costa Rica if we can craft the conditions to go through to the round of 16,” Flick said.
Spain coach Luis Enrique, for his part, said the group of death was not that bad for them as they still lead the group of death. He said that it would be enough against Japan although they will do what it takes to secure the win.
Álvaro Morata got the ball rolling for Spain in the 62nd minute with an incredible one-touch from close range after a calculated low cross from Jordi Alba.
Germany made a few set pieces and breakaways until Füllkrug, at last, blasted a goal from close range into the top of the net. The Germans then tightened their defense down the stretch to seal the draw.
Morata said Germany is a “great team,” as it took advantage of the window of opportunity to score and level the match.
Füllkrug’s goal for Germany
Füllkrug’s goal was like a breath of fresh air for the Germans who captured the World Cup title in 2014, but since then, they only managed to win one of their five World Cup matches. Germany bowed out of contention in the 2018 World Cup held in Russia after absorbing two straight defeats.
Germany succumbed to Spain, 0-6, when they clashed the last time in the Nations League two years ago and only pulled off a victory over the “La Roja” squad in their friendly match eight years ago.
It was the fifth World Cup encounter between the two powerhouses, with Spain toppling Germany, 1-0, in the semifinals of the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
Spain, however, has not lost to Germany in any official competition since the 1988 European Championship.