By Chris King • 27 November 2022 • 22:08
Image of Spain's goalscorer Alvaro Morata.
Credit: [email protected]
Germany faced a massive match in Group E of the 2022 Qatar World Cup this evening, Sunday, November 27. After falling to a shock 1-0 defeat by Japan in their opening game, Spain was probably the last nation they would have wanted to be up against in the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
Manager Hansi Flick made two changes to his starting line-up, dropping Chelsea star, Kai Havertz, along with Nico Schlotterbeck. In their places came West Ham’s Thilo Kehrer and midfielder Leon Goretzka of Bayern Munich.
After demolishing Costa Rica 7-0 in the first match, Luis Enrique made only one change to his side. Real Madrid’s Dani Carvajal replaced Chelsea right-back Cesar Azpilicueta.
Costa Rica did Germany a huge favour earlier today by beating Japan 1-0, meaning that even a draw against the Spanish would still keep them in with a chance of reaching the last 16. Ominously, the last time Germany beat Spain in a competitive match was in the 1988 European Championship.
Keeper Manuel Neuer came to his team’s aid early on as he tipped a stunning strike from Dani Olmo onto the crossbar and to safety after seven minutes. The fans were already on their feet thinking the ball was heading into the net.
The game swung into life in the 40th minute when Serge Gnabry was taken down by Jordi Alba. Antonio Rudiger met the resulting free kick and powered a header beyond Unai Simon only for VAR to rule him offside.
Alvaro Morata broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute shortly after entering the pitch as a sub. He latched onto Dani Olmo’s pinpoint pass and steered the ball into the German net to put Spain ahead.
An exciting finish was lined up when Germany pulled level in the 83rd minute. Again it was a substitute making the difference. Werder Bremen’s Niclas Fullkrug collected a pass from Jamal Musiala and blasted the ball past Simon. Hansi Flick must be proud of that tactical switch.
It ended all square so now Germany have to beat Costa Rica in their final group match. If they win then qualification for the last 16 will come down to Spain beating Japan in the other game.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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