Qatar 2022: Germany fight to earn a point to keep their World Cup hopes alive
Germany Spain FIFA World Cup

Spain and Germany battled it out to a draw at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday evening in their second Group E game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Spain were coming off the back of an impressive seven-nil victory over Costa Rica in their first match of the tournament. They were also coming into the game on the back of a good run in the past few years against Germany, with whom they have enjoyed a healthy rivalry in their history.

Germany, on the other hand, were looking to bounce back from a crushing defeat by Japan in the first matchday of the tournament. A loss would have dumped them out of the tournament like 2018, and put them in a precarious position with the fans who witnessed them almost relegated in the UEFA Nations League.

A brilliant game ensued between both sides, with the battle being fought in the middle of the park. However, the first half ended in a draw, like most of the games that have taken place at the World Cup so far. The game came alive in the closing stages of the second half with Spain opening the scoring and Germany fighting back to earn a draw and a much needed point.

Group E is currently the most open in the tournament and is also delivering action worthy of being called the group of death. Luis Enrique and Hans-Dieter Flick, meanwhile, will hope they do not see each other any time soon on the pitch.

A midfield battle to savour

Four-time World Cup winners Germany were even more nervous after Japan lost to Costa Rica earlier in the day. That made them the only team without a point in the group, and a loss meant that their tournament was over.

Manuel Neuer was making his 18th World Cup appearance to tie the tournament record for a goalkeeper and he put in a great shift to help his nation stay in the game. A seventh-minute save from a familiar face, Dani Olmo, who he has faced a number of times in the German Bundesliga, was his most important contribution of the first half, which saw both sides have a go at each other 

Enrique replaced Ferran Torres with Alvaro Morata, who made an immediate impact on the game by scoring the opener. The Atlético de Madrid striker cleverly got in front of Borussia Dortmund defender Niklas Sule to finish with the outside of his boot.

Flick's own substitute, Niclas Fullkrug would respond late in the game, smashing a shot past Unai Simon to draw Germany back into the game.

Germany will be hoping not to face another upset against Costa Rica as they must win by two clear goals to progress to the round of 16.