Germany salvage 1-1 draw with Spain at World Cup
Germany forward Niclas Füllkrug salvaged a 1-1 draw against Spain on Sunday at the World Cup.
The Germans still need to win their last group match to have a chance of advancing to the knockout stage. The four-time champions were eliminated in the group stage four years ago in Russia.
Germany will next face Costa Rica, which defeated Japan 1-0 earlier Sunday. Even a win may not be enough for the Germans, who are in last place in Group E and need the other result to go their way. Spain can reach the last 16 with a draw against Japan.
Álvaro Morata put Spain ahead in the 62nd minute and Füllkrug equalised for Germany in the 83rd. The match between the pre-tournament favorites was one of the most anticipated in the group stage.
Spain tried to control the pace of the game with ball possession but wasn’t able to create many opportunities, while Germany was able to threaten sporadically with breakaways and set pieces.
Kai Havertz paid the price for Germany's shock defeat by Japan in their World Cup opener as he was replaced by Leon Goretzka in the line-up to face Spain on Sunday.
The Chelsea forward struggled to make an impact in the 2-1 stumble on Wednesday and coach Hansi Flick reacted by taking him out of the side, as one of two changes.
Nico Schlotterbeck was also dropped with Thilo Kehrer starting at right-back, while Niklas Suele moves across to centre-back to shore up the heart of the defence.
Serge Gnabry will likely be tasked with playing a free-roaming centre-forward's role in Havertz's absence, as one of five Bayern Munich players in Germany's front six.
Fighting for a foothold in Group E, Germany will be able to rely on Leroy Sane from the bench after the Bayern Munich winger missed the first match with a knee problem.
Spain, who thrashed Costa Rica 7-0, made one change, with coach Luis Enrique true to his word after saying he would not repeat his starting line-up, despite the comprehensive victory.
Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal replaced Cesar Azpilicueta, with the coach maintaining faith in Marco Asensio up front after his goal against Los Ticos.
Starting line-ups for the World Cup Group E match between Spain and Germany at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 1900 GMT):
Unai Simon; Dani Carvajal, Rodri, Aymeric Laporte, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets (capt), Gavi, Pedri; Ferran Torres, Marco Asensio, Dani Olmo
Coach: Luis Enrique (ESP)
Manuel Neuer (capt); Thilo Kehrer, Niklas Suele, Antonio Ruediger, David Raum; Joshua Kimmich, Ilkay Gundogan, Leon Goretzka; Thomas Mueller, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala
Coach: Hansi Flick (GER)
Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)