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Germany’s Late Equalizer Revives Its World Cup Hopes

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Substitute Niclas Fuellkrug’s close range strike late in the second half rescued Germany a valuable 1-1 draw against Spain in a World Cup Group E showdown, a result which left the group still wide open.

Spain had the better of the first half on Sunday evening, looking the more likely to break the deadlock with the flair and style of their youngsters.

They were rewarded for their creativity early in the second period. Substitute Alvaro Morata beat his marker and flicked the ball in at the near post past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer following a low cross from Jordi Alba in the 62nd minute to give Spain the lead.

The goal was enough to pause a German revival, but head coach Hanzi Flick rang the changes, swapping out three players. Just 13 minutes after coming on, Niclas Fullkrug equalised for the Germans in the 83rd minute, smashing home a loose ball inside the box.

From then until the six minutes of added time were complete, both teams had chances to win in a frantic finish but they had to settle for a draw.

Their draw leaves Spain top of the group, needing just a draw against Japan to guarantee a spot in the final 16 of the tournament.

Germany, who lost 2-1 in their opener against Japan, are bottom of the table on one point. They need to win against Costa Rica on Thursday and their hopes then depend on Japan losing. If Japan draw it would come down to goal difference or goals scored by Germany and Japan.