Cape Town – Spain and Germany played out to a 1-1 draw at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday. The Germans were lucky to escape with a point after Spain dominated possession. The result however does ensure that the Germans World Cup hopes are not yet over.
The following are five things we learnt from the game.
Germany are handed a World Cup lifeline
Spain look like near certainties now to advance from Group E and into the last 16. The other place is anyone’s for the taking. Costa Rica did Germany a favour by beating Japan 1-0. Had the Samurai Blue beaten the Costa Ricans, they would have advanced to the last 16, likely consigning Germany to elimination.
Victory over Costa Rica in their final group stage game can potentially help Germany advance to the last 16.
Spain’s holes were exposed
Spain has a young talented side who have been tipped to go far in this competition but their holes were exposed in this game. Germany dominated for portions of the second half before Luis Enrique was forced to make some changes which evened out proceedings again.
Gavi and Pedri the heartbeat of the Spanish team
The teenage duo are playing as though they are well beyond their years.
Gavi, in central midfield caused problems for one of the world’s best defenders Antonio Rudiger and David Raum. His touches on the ball and passes were exceptional.
Pedri did not have his best game but his energy inspired many Spanish attacks and was a joy to watch. The duo promise to be a menace in four years time as they gain more experience at the highest level and become even better players.
Germany need to drop Sule
Niklas Sule made the error that led to Japan’s second goal as Germany slumped to a 2-1 defeat against the Asian nation in their opener.
He once again had a poor game against Spain as Alvaro Morata and Dani Olmo embarrassed him.
Niclas Fullkrug the unlikely hero for Germany
A year ago the Werder Bremen man may have not even dreamed of playing at the World Cup. At 29, he only started playing internationally this year and was playing second tier football in Germany as recently as last season.
His second international goal also gave Germany a lifeline as they look to avoid a second consecutive group stage exit from the World Cup.