Bubbling with confidence following last week’s 7-0 win over Costa Rica, Spain took on Germany in their second 2022 FIFA World Cup Group E fixture on Sunday night (27 November). The Spanish Armada failed to assert themselves in the clash against the Germans, playing out a 1-1 draw. Alvaro Morata found the back of the net for Spain while Niclas Fullkrug scored for Germany.
The draw leaves Spain in first position in the Group E standings (four points), but they still need a positive result against Japan in their final match to ensure Round-of-16 progression.
It did not take long for the game to find its rhythm, with both teams creating their first goalscoring opportunities in the opening 10 minutes. In the fifth minute, Spain’s Dani Olmo received a sharp square ball from Marco Asensio to the left and went for goal with a strike from just outside the box. Olmo hit it straight at German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, but it nearly went through him, with the crossbar ultimately saving the veteran goalkeeper’s blushes.
Six minutes later, the four-time FIFA World Cup winners tested Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon through Serge Gnabry’s strike from the right side. Simon did ever so well to come out of his line and block the shot, but the flag eventually went up for offside.
Spain’s left-footed left-back Jordi Alba was the next to try his luck. In the 22nd minute, the Barcelona fullback shuffled to his right foot and hit the side-netting with an excellent shot. Twelve minutes later, Olmo squared the ball off to Torres towards the center of the box. The Barcelona man skied his effort when he really should have at least hit the target. Luckily for him, the linesman raised the offside flag to deem the move illegitimate.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup winners did not have much joy in the opening exchanges of the second half, with Germany dominating proceedings with an iron fist. La Roja, however, successfully weathered the storm and scored the opener against the run of play.
Alba found substitute Morata with a stunning low cross, and the former Real Madrid man made no mistake in sending it past Neuer. Four minutes later, Asensio got on the end of the ball on the right side of the box. Much to the Spanish fans’ dismay, the Los Blancos superstar took the shot first time and sent it over the bar.
Having conceded the goal, Die Mannschaft upped the ante in the following minutes and deservedly got the equalizer. In the 82nd minute, Fullkrug took the ball off Musiala inside the Spanish box and then put his boot through it. Simon stood and watched as the ball nestled into the far top corner. Luis Enrique’s side tried to find their way through in the closing minutes but failed to nick the goal they were looking for.
Here are three Spanish players who performed and two who failed to live up to their billing in their second 2022 FIFA World Cup fixture on Sunday night:
Performed: Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata is proving to be quite the super sub at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. After scoring and providing an assist in the 7-0 routing of Costa Rica last week, Morata was once again found the back of the net as a substitute against Germany.
The Atletico Madrid forward injected directness into the Spanish attack and made no mistake in taking his chance in the 62nd minute. Morata superbly beat the offside trap to get to Alba’s delivery in the middle and then hit it first time to take find the netting past a helpless Neuer.
Morata also helped out at the back, blocking a shot and clearing the ball twice.
Underperformed: Dani Carvajal
Picked ahead of Cesar Azpilicueta, Real Madrid right-back Daniel Carvajal failed to repay his coach’s faith. He looked too wary of Germany’s attacking threat at times, which kept him from making runs and taking the fight to the opposition. His cross-field balls were great (six accurate long balls), but he did not threaten Hansi Flick’s side with his overlaps.
Against the 2018 FIFA World Cup winners, Carvajal did not create any goalscoring opportunities, lost two of three ground duels, lost possession nine times, and was dribbled past twice.
Performed: Jordi Alba
Producing another surefooted display, Jordi Alba proved why he continues to be an integral part of Enrique’s plans. Alba hit the sweet spot while mixing his attacking output with defensive discipline. He created chances but never risked an opposition counter, promptly tracking back. Alba’s brightest moment of the match came when he superbly picked out Morata for the forward’s second goal at this FIFA World Cup.
On Sunday night, Alba made two key passes, accurately delivered one cross and two long balls; and created one big chance, which Asensio missed. Coming to defensive work, he attempted four tackles, won five ground duels, cleared the ball once, and made an interception.
Underperformed: Ferran Torres
Ferran Torres, who scored a brace against Costa Rica, enjoyed a bright start to the game, hugging the touchline and always looking to make the run in behind. Unfortunately, that was pretty much the highlight of his game, as he failed to bring any real threat to the table. He lost possession cheaply at times, was not strong in duels, and his distribution was considerably below par.
In Spain’s second Group E match, Torres failed to lodge any shots on target (two blocked), completed only 11 ground passes (55% accuracy), and lost possession 14 times. He also lost four ground duels, committed a foul, and misplaced his only attempted long ball.
Performed: Dani Olmo
Dani Olmo was easily the brightest spark in the Spanish attack on Sunday. His distribution was impressive, he always looked to make things happen, and was unlucky not to score with his cracking first-half effort, with him being denied by the crossbar.
Olmo played two key passes in the match against Die Mannschaft, accurately delivered four long balls, and attempted three dribbles. He also won four ground duels, completed 34 passes (81% accuracy), made an interception, and drew four fouls.