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Germany keep World Cup hopes alive after 1-1 draw with Spain – SABC News


Germany gave themselves hope of avoiding another early exit from the World Cup when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Spain when substitute Niklas Fühlkrug’s 83rd-minute equalizer canceled out Alvaro Marata’s opener.

The result leaves Germany facing a must-win match against Costa Rica in four days’ time and also means that Spain have yet to secure a place in the knockout stages of the tournament.

Germany were in danger of another early exit from the World Cup following their group-stage exit in 2018 before Fuellkrug took advantage of Jamal Musiala’s struggle in the box to fire high into the net past Unai Simon and into the Spain goal.

Marata, himself a substitute, added to the danger for the Germans when he neatly saved Jordi Alba’s cross in the 62nd minute.

The Spaniards looked more relaxed from the start, driving Germany through with their angled passes and Dani Olmo almost created an early breakthrough in the seventh minute, but Manuel Neuer tipped his shot onto the post.

Germany began their encounter against Spain at the Al-Bayt Stadium under immense pressure after suffering a shock defeat to Japan in their opening match.

Hans Flick’s men looked to have taken an unlikely lead in the 39th minute when defender Antonio Rudiger headed home Joshua Kimmich’s free-kick, but the Germans’ celebrations were cut short as VAR quickly ruled him offside.

Spain goalkeeper Simon was forced into his first save in the 56th minute as the 2010 champions ran into trouble trying to play out of defence, allowing Kimmich to drive the ball home from outside the box, but Simon made a spectacular save.

Spain lead the table with four points and now only need a draw in their final Group E game against Japan to progress. A win would send them into the knockout round from first place.

Germany, who lost 2-1 in their opener against Japan, are bottom of the table with one point. They need a win against Costa Rica on Thursday and then their hopes hinge on Japan losing. If Japan draws, it will come down to the difference in goals or goals scored by Germany and Japan.

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