Álvaro Morata scores the opening goal for Spain. / efe

Spain earn crucial point against Germany at 2022 Qatar World Cup

La Roja put on a high-level display and were unlucky not to take three points, but only need a draw to make it through

SHAY CONAGHAN

Spain earned a crucial point in their second group stage game after seeing out a 1-1 draw against Germany at the 2022 Qatar World Cup on Sunday night. It was a hard-fought battle by both sides, with an extremely high level of football on display.

Spain's head coach Luis Enrique kept the same starting eleven that put seven past Costa Rica, except for right-back Dani Carvajal, who replaced César Azpilicueta.

La Roja's game plan remained much the same: maintain a high level of possession and create chances from the wings to counter a narrow German defence.

However, even though Spain dominated the opening half hour of play, their lack of an out-and-out striker and using Marco Asensio as a 'false nine' was starting to show.

Spanish class

As La Roja began to show signs of fatigue, Germany started to take control of the game. Five minutes from half-time, they scored what would have been the opening goal of the night from a set-piece, but Rüdiger's offside position meant that the goal was disallowed by the VAR.

Spain retook the initiative in the second-half, knowing that Germany needed to score to maximise their chances of qualifying after losing their first game.

Luis Enrique finally introduced a natural striker in Álvaro Morata and it would prove to be the right substitute to make. Jordi Alba whipped in a low-driven cross that met the outside of Morata's boot just inside the six-yard box, lifting the ball over the goalkeeper to give Spain the lead.

German desperation

It was a wake-up call for the Germans, whose World Cup was in real danger of ending at the group stage and they reacted by making three substitutions.

Spain held possession for the rest of the half, but Germany were creating more dangerous chances. Their persistence would be rewarded ten minutes from the end, as striker Füllkrug smashed the ball into the roof of the net after putting himself in a good position in the box.

The game would go on to end 1-1. It's not the perfect score for Spain, who would have made it to the knock-out stage with a win, but they now only need to pick up a single point in their next game. La Roja play against Japan on Thursday, 1 December at 8pm.