Germany is still very much alive in the 2022 FIFA World Cup after coming back to tie Spain 1-1 in a narrow Group E draw.
Spain opened the game with the same formation from its 7-0 rout of Costa Rica. The 4-3-3 featured Marco Asensio in the false No. 9 role, with Ferran Torres and Dani Almo supplying the width on the wings.
Germany came out with its 4-2-3-1 lineup that had Jamal Musiala on the left wing, Thomas Müller as the primary striker and İlkay Gündoğan as the central attacking midfielder operating behind Müller. Thilo Kehrer also came in for Nico Schlotterbeck in the backline.
Olmo had the first key moment of the game when he cut in from the left and struck it cleanly towards the top right corner, but Neuer just got a finger to it as it deflected off the crossbar.
From there, Spain did what it does under manager Luis Enrique: death by a million passes. La Furia Roja controlled the possession and kept the ball ticking, but Germany’s 4-2-3-1 midblock prevented Spain’s progressive action through the middle with Pedri and Gavi, leading to the DFB winning their duels and hitting on quick counters.
Germany couldn’t find the end product on those moments, though, but it got some hope when Antonio Rudiger headed the ball in off a free kick in the 40th minute. However, VAR called it back due to offside and the score remained level at 0-0 at the half.
In the second half, Germany flipped the switch and started to pile on the pressure in its attacking third. After winning the ball in a dangerous area, Joshua Kimmich’s shot inside the box was parried out by Unai Simón.
Spain then opened the scoring in the 62nd minute with Alvaro Morata providing the super-substitute moment. Morata made a cutting run in front of Niklas Süle, and left back Jordi Alba picked him out for the assist as Morata clipped it home with the outside of his boot.
In desperate need of an equalizer, Leroy Sane and Niklas Füllkrug came on for Müller and Gündoğan in the 70th minute, and the changes paid off. The 29-year-old Füllkrug gave Germany the much-needed equalizer in the 83rd minute with a strong strike to the top right corner.
Sane created more chances for Germany before the final whistle, but it remained tied in the end with the points being shared.
Spain still sit atop Group E with four points and remain in pole position to advance with a win or tie against Japan on Thursday, while Germany would need to beat Costa Rica and get help from a Spain win to advance.