Niclas Fullkrug’s late equalizer kept Spain waiting for their place in the World Cup round of 16 in Germany’s 1-1 draw at Al Bayt Stadium.
The Werder Bremen striker immediately vindicated his first-ever call-up to the German senior side by negating Alvaro Morata’s well-taken strike late in the game to give Hansi Flick’s side more hope of progressing to the round next.
Fullkrug earned his place in the Germany squad after scoring ten goals in 16 appearances for his club, the kind of form he is now extending to the world stage.
Germany will have everything to do when they take on Costa Rica in the Group E final, knowing they will need a win to have any chance of reaching the knockout stage.
Fullkrug certainly managed to spare the blushes of the Germans who, started on Sunday, risked being eliminated.
Although their place in the next round is far from certain, they will be delighted to have the chance to avoid a second successive World Cup exit in the first round.
It comes after the World Cup in Russia in 2018, when they finished bottom of a group containing Sweden, Mexico and South Korea after losing in two of three matches.
For Spain, they will be disappointed not to have secured their place in the second round of the competition, with Luis Enrique’s side now having to avoid defeat in their last game against Japan to be sure of a place in the last 16.
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