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Germany keep hopes alive after 1-1 draw with Spain

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THE change in scenarios didn’t in any way affect the pace of this game, the first big one on paper at the World Cup between two recent champions; Spain won in 2010 and Germany followed four years later. Since their triumphs, both teams have undergone a rebuilding phase and here at the Al Bayt Stadium, shaped like a Bedouin tent on the outskirts of Doha, they cancelled out each other in a riveting 1-1 draw.

In a game where substitutes got the goals for both sides, Niclas Fuellkrug’s powerful finish in the 83rd minute levelled matters for Germany after Alvaro Morata had given Spain the lead with a deft finish from the outside of his foot in the 62nd.

Costa Rica’s earlier result — a 1-0 win against Japan — had thrown Group ‘E’ wide open and set this up as a tactical battle, a chess game between Spain coach Luis Enrique and his German counterpart Hansi Flick. Knowing that a loss wouldn’t end their World Cup, Germany — who had been stunned by Japan in their opening game — could afford to breathe.

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