Spain and Germany battle to a 1-1 draw in huge Group E clash
Today's marquee matchup ended in a 1-1 tie between Germany and Spain, the former World Cup winners.
The two entered the game in very different positions, with Spain atop the Group E standings after a 7-0 drubbing of Costa Rica. Meanwhile, Germany was at the bottom of the standings and trying to bounce back from a shock loss to Japan.
Even with the draw, Spain remains well in control of its fate with four points, alone atop the group.
Germany still has life with one point, but has a lot of work to do in its next match against Costa Rica.
This one went into the half deadlocked at 0-0.
In the 7th minute, Spain's Dani Olmo rifled an attempt from the edge of the 18-yard box. But his shot was pushed off the underside of the bar by German goalie Manuel Neuer. It was the closest La Roja came to breaking the deadlock in the early going.
Germany appeared to take the lead when Antonio Rüdiger headed one home from a free kick in the 39th minute. But the Germans were ruled offside and the goal was crossed off.
In the second half, Germany came out pressing as they fought for their World Cup lives.
Spain had trouble getting out of its own half in the early minutes of the second period. In the 49th minute, Germany earned a free kick in a dangerous spot but wasted the opportunity. In the 55th minute, a costly turnover forced Spanish goalie Unai Simón into an outstretched save on a Joshua Kimmich shot.
Coming off the bench, Álvaro Morata became the difference-maker for La Roja.
In the 62nd minute, the 30-year-old Spanish striker found the back of the net to break the deadlock and give Spain the 1-0 lead.
Germany made a valiant effort to get the goal back. In the 70th minute, Jamal Musiala had a great chance to equalize for Germany from point break range. But Simon stood tall to make the block and keep the Germans out.
Finally, 20 minutes after Spain took the lead, Germany broke through. In the 82nd minute, Niclas Füllkrug beat Simon and squared the match late.
No one scored in the little time remaining despite a few promising chances, and the two teams ended in a deadlock.