On Sunday, Germany held off Spain to earn a 1-1 draw, keeping them from being eliminated from the World Cup.
After replacing Thomas Muller in the 83rd minute, Germany’s Niclas Fullkrug scored.
After Alvaro Morata gave Spain the lead in the 61st minute with a goal, Fullkrug’s goal tied the game. Similar to Fullkrug, Morata entered the game as a substitute early in the second half to replace Ferran Torres.
Germany can move to the knockout stages with a victory over Costa Rica on Thursday and a little assistance from Spain against Japan thanks to Fullkrug’s goal. In yet another World Cup upset early on Sunday, Costa Rica defeated Japan 1-0. Spain destroyed Costa Rica 7-0 in their opening match of the competition, while Japan defeated Germany 2-1.
Germany shortly took the lead, but the goal was disallowed for offside. However, while he was making his move, Antonio Rudiger was offside when he headed in a free kick goal. The Germans also had a ton of additional opportunities, but Spain’s Unai Simon played outstandingly in goal.
Leroy Sané of Germany missed a last-second opportunity when Simon forced Sané out wide as he approached the goal.
The 2010 World Cup champions would have advanced to the knockout rounds had Spain won, but the 2014 World Cup champions would have needed a lot of assistance on the final day of Group E play to advance.
Alternatively, Germany can progress with a victory over Japan, a victory over Spain, or a tie between Spain and Japan. It’s doubtful that Germany would overtake Spain in goal difference if both Germany and Japan won on Thursday because Spain outscored Costa Rica so heavily.
If Spain had won, Germany would have suffered its first successive World Cup defeats since the 1958 competition, and Germany would have been in danger of losing in the group stage for the second straight tournament. After losing to Mexico and South Korea in the group stage in 2018, Germany was unable to move on from that group.