Sunday, January 29, 2023

Spain 1-1 Germany: What Were The Main Talking Points As The Two European Heavyweights Settle For A Single Point?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, World Cup 28 Nov 2022

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In what was a showdown between two European giants on Sunday night, Spain and Germany eventually had to settle for a 1-1 draw at the Al Bayt Stadium.

While La Roja might have been minutes away from securing back-to-back Group E victories and punching their World Cup knockout stage ticket thanks to Alvaro Morata’s second-half strike, it was late heartbreak for Luis Enrique’s youngsters.

Although Spain might still find themselves sat firmly in pole position to find a route out of Group E, Niclas Fullkrug kept Germany’s dreams alive after snatching a well-taken equaliser with seven minutes left on the clock.

In a contest that was often a cagey affair in Doha, we have taken a look at the main talking points as the two former world champions had to settle for what could be a crucial point.

Almost job done for Spain

Although Spain would have been rightfully frustrated to have missed out on the chance to punch their spot as Group E winners on Sunday night, the mood in Enrique’s camp should be at a continued high.

With the former Barcelona boss electing to take the European heavyweights in a far more youthful direction over recent times, La Roja and their blossoming starlets have gained a string of plaudits.

Opening up their World Cup adventure with a stellar 7-0 romp against Costa Rica earlier in the week, the 2010 world champions could be smelling the chance to spring a major upset in Qatar this year.

While Enrique’s squad might have eventually settled for a 1-1 draw here, Spain know that it would take a remarkable slip for them to miss out on punching a knockout stage ticket next week.

Suffering just a single defeat from any of their previous 13 appearances across all formats, La Roja will simply be looking to keep up their recent momentum when they sign off their Group E campaign against Japan on Thursday night.

Germany just about keep their dreams alive

Although Germany might have mounted an eye-catching late comeback on Sunday night as Fullkrug snatched their first Group E point of the tournament, Hansi Flick’s side are still seeking some much-needed stability.

Knowing that they faced a real must-win showdown at the Al Bayt Stadium, the ex-Bayern Munich boss knows that his squad have a huge amount of pressure on their shoulders over the next few days.

Shocking the footballing world out in Russia four years ago as they came crashing out at the group stages, the Nationalelf will be more than aware that they can not afford another embarrassment on the world stage.

Opening their World Cup adventure earlier in the week as they suffered a second-half collapse against Japan as they slumped to a late 2-1 loss, Flick’s men head into the final round of fixtures sat rock-bottom of the Group E standings.

With it appearing that Flick is still yet to settle on his best starting XI in Qatar, Germany must avoid what would be another banana skin as they meet Costa Rica on Thursday night.

Morata can be the main man for La Roja

While Enrique’s youngsters might have gained plenty of praise over the past 12 months, the 52-year-old’s decision to use Marco Asensio as a false nine has caused some confusion back home.

However, after being left disappointed to have once again missed out on a starting spot in Doha, Morata certainly underlined his value to La Roja’s squad after another impressive display off the bench.

Producing a wonderful first-time finish to open the scoring just after the hour mark, the Atletico Madrid striker has now bagged back-to-back Group E goals in his first World Cup tournament.

While the one-time Real Madrid striker might have publicly struggled during his brief spell with Premier League giants Chelsea, Morata has proven to be a clinical finisher on the international stage.

In fact, with Sunday’s smart finish the 29th goal that the 30-year-old has recorded for his country, Morata has also notched six in his last nine appearances with La Roja.

With Ecuador’s Enner Valencia and France’s Kylian Mbappe now the only players who have recorded more World Cup strikes so far this year, Morata will be desperate to make a first start on Thursday night.

Match Report:

Spain: Simon, Carvajal, Rodri, Laporte, Alba, Gavi, Busquets, Pedri, Torres, Asensio, Olmo

Subs: Morata, Koke, Williams, Balde,

Germany: Neuer, Kehrer, Sule, Rudiger, Raum, Goretzka, Kimmich, Gnabry, Gundogan, Musiala, Muller

Subs: Sane, Hofmann, Schlotterbeck, Klostermann, Fullkrug

Goals: Spain: Morata (62′) – Germany: Fullkrug (83′)

Yellow Cards: Spain: Busquets – Germany: Goretzka, Kehrer, Kimmich

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Desmond Makkelie


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan



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