Both Substitute Strikers Come Off The Bench To Score As Spain & Germany Share The Points
Both Morata and Fullkrug came off the bench to score for Spain and Germany respectively to earn their nations a point a piece as qualification remains up for grabs in Group E.
The only change for Spain from their 7-0 trashing over Costa Rica on Wednesday evening is that Cezar Azpilicueta is dropped for Real Madrid full back Dani Carvajal. With their far superior goal difference from that clash with Costa Rica they knew coming into tonight’s match three points would all but secure top spot in Group E.
Germany made two changes coming into their must win game with Spain as they opted for a formation switch from a 4-2-3-1 to a more solid 4-3-3 with a key of not being overran by the Spanish midfield. Chelsea’s Kai Havertz came out for Goretzka as the other body in the midfield as Muller was moved up to being the lone striker while Kehrer came in for Schlotterbeck at the back as well. It was clearly a tactic to match Spain man for man after seeing their complete domination of Costa Rica as they completed 1043 passes.
The first opportunity of the game came just seven minutes in as some lovely play from Spain saw Olmo have a chance on the edge of the area. He struck it brilliantly and forced Neuer into a really good save as he tipped it onto the crossbar to deny the Spanish. Alba came close with a long-range shot just after the twenty-minute mark as Spain started to become frustrated by Germany.
The Germans had managed to press Spain not allowing them to settle like they did against Costa Rica which was leading to the occasional chance but the game was still in the balance. Just five minutes before half time, Germany thought they had taken the lead as Kimmich put in a terrific ball from a free kick on the right-hand side. He found the head of Rudiger who was in acres of space in the middle as he nodded it past a helpless Simon. However, the celebrations were short lived as just twenty seconds later the offside signal went up from the referee and VAR had correctly spotted the centre back was just offside.
It was a scare for Spain as the half time whistle blew with the game goalless but Germany had managed to keep their two midfield playmakers quiet in Gavi and Pedri which had killed the Spanish attacking flow.
Germany started the second half how they finished the first half which was looking the side more likely to score as this time a poor pass from Simon to Pedri allowed them in. Pedri was disposed as the ball fell to Gundogan who laid it off to Kimmich just inside the area who hit one which looked destine for the far corner but Simon pulled off a good save to make up for his earlier error.
Just after the hour mark, Spain took the lead as Alvaro Morata, who had only just come on eight minutes before, flicked a Jordi Alba into the back of the net past Neuer. It had come slightly against the run of play but it was the moment of quality that Spain were needing and it was once again provided by Morata who have the second game running has scored off the bench.
Germany came back strong after conceding and had their best chance of the game when Sane slipped through Musiala who had a brilliant opportunity which he blasted straight at Unai Simon which he should’ve really put into the back of the net.
Just seven minutes from time, it was German’s substitute strikers time to get on the scoresheet as Fullkrug scored just thirteen minutes after coming on for Germany. It was a lovely ball through to Musiala who looked to have controlled it as he turned but it ran to Fullkrug who looked to have taken it off the youngster as he smashed it past Simon and into the top corner to get Germany back on level terms.
That’s the way the game finished with both sides unable to find a winner after Fullkrug’s equaliser but both sides will be relevantly happy with a point a piece. After the other game in Group E earlier between Japan and Costa Rica being an extremely poor game in terms of quality. Both sides will face themselves to get wins which will mean they will come first and second in the group with Spain being top if they can beat Japan.
It’s not technically in Germany’s hands as if Japan do win then there the only thing Germany can do is overturn a huge goal difference deficit to Spain but if Japan fail to win then Germany will just need a win to qualify through. They would need a two-goal victory to get through or to score more goals than Japan if they won the game by one goal to nil. All very complicated but it will all take shape on Thursday evening in the Group E finale.