During the draw in April this year, this Spain-Germany was marked as the great peak of the first two weeks. The group final is, of course, a shock worthy of a European or world final. To find out the winner of this E pool, we’ll be back, but as far as the beauty of the show goes, it’s a big yes.
68,000 lucky people remained at the Al-Bayt Stadium until the end of Sunday evening. It was not Qatar-Ecuador, on the contrary, as seven days ago, not the beginning of the defeat of the locals in this competition, but two strongholds of football collided. Two nations with different health but were able to come together to offer a very high level duel that ended in a great draw (1-1).
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There was no question of missing a crumb, let alone a missed start. The first Spanish period did not give the Germans time to recover from Wednesday’s defeat against the Japanese (1-2). La Roja imposed their style of play (68% ball possession), massive use of field width and doubling passes. Dani Olmo was the first to score (7th minute) with a transverse kick that Manuel Neuer took away from his fingertips. Ruediger’s Germany managed to respond to these tensions despite some misgivings, which were fortunately thwarted by the clumsiness of Ferran Torres (26th, 33rd) standing in front of the cages.
Question about substitutes
After that, the match was even. Defeated in a midfield clash that was basically blocked by the Gavi-Busquets-Pedri trio, the Iberians were even on the verge of paying dearly for their love of risk. In the 56th minute, Simon misses a cross on the axis, the ball returns to Kimmich’s foot six meters away, which provides too much for his right hand.
The snap finally came from Álvaro Morata, the stereotype of these strikers has never been more resolute than when they come off the bench to pay off criticism. Eight minutes after replacing Torres, he deceives Neuer with a mischievous appearance (1:0, 62nd). A goal that owes a lot to Thilo Kehrer’s generosity. The German right flank made a bad copy in their strip, hardly regret PSG, his club four months ago.
The last day of all dangers… except France
Dani Olmo warned that he should not “bury” his European neighbor. He was right. The German resolve eventually paid off. Spain may blame itself for not being supportive, but did it have the means? Niklas Fülkrug, another contender for the veteran Müller, equalized in the 83rd minute (1:1). Prior to this, Leroy Sane conceded the winning goal in stoppage time.
On Thursday evening (at 20:00 in France) Spain could settle for a draw with Japan. Germany will have to defeat Costa Rica. What she proposed against the vice-champions of Europe may calm the criticized Hans Flick. It remains to confirm, at the risk of making an exit, like four years ago. In other words, a cataclysm for a country of this magnitude. Meanwhile, the French neighbor is still hanging around alone at his qualifying table. How distant this curse of the reigning world champion seems.