Germany are not favourites for World Cup 2022 in Qatar, but they are certainly expected to qualify for the knockout rounds of the competition. Former Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick has done a fine job until now, but the start to the World Cup has been nothing short of disappointing.
In the first game of Group E, Germany was stunned by Japan with a 2-1 defeat. Germany dominated the game against Japan, but they lacked ruthlessness in both boxes. Courtesy of the defeat against Japan, Germany had to get a positive result against Spain to have a chance of qualifying for the next round.
Germany couldn’t dominate Spain in possession, but they did a good job at containing them in the final third. However, Spanish substitute Alvaro Morata broke the deadlock midway through the second half. Germany managed to recover from this setback and score the equaliser through Nicklas Fullkrug late in the game.
The draw against Spain is far from the best result for Germany, but they still have a good chance of qualifying for the next round. While talking to DFB after the game against Spain, Joshua Kimmich was satisfied with the improvement shown by Germany against a very strong team.
"“Fortunately, we were able to come away with a point. It felt like Spain had more of the ball, and we knew that we’d have to do a lot of running today. I feel like we had the better chances though. We had more clear-cut opportunities and, with a bit of luck, we could have got the win. A draw is a fair result though. It was certainly a step up from us.”"
There was significant debate around the positional switch of Joshua Kimmich in the German team before the game against Spain. However, Hansi Flick decided to stick with him in the midfield and use Thilo Kehrer in the right-back position.
The decision to stick with Joshua Kimmich in the midfield certainly paid dividends for Germany. Kimmich delivered a very solid performance at the base of the midfield. He also had a very good chance saved by Unai Simon when Germany was pressing for the equaliser. The Bayern midfielder managed to be secure on the ball in the limited possession Germany managed on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane also had a very positive performance against Spain. Musiala was the creative force for Germany on Sunday. His perseverance and effort were eventually rewarded with an assist for the equaliser. Sane also provided a cutting edge in the final third when he came on for Germany in the second half. The return to fitness for Sane is a major boost for Germany ahead of the final group game against Costa Rica.
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Germany needs to clinch a comfortable win against Costa Rica later this week and hope for a favour from Spain against Japan. It is far from an ideal situation for Germany, but things could have been worse if they didn’t get a positive performance and result against Spain.