Niclas Füllkrug’s teammates celebrated the joker of the German national team extensively after his goal in the Spain game. “Get in great. That’s exactly why he’s there,” said Thomas Müller, who left the pitch for Füllkrug at 1-1 (0-0). “Of course he has already announced that in the last few days. He has great confidence and as you can see now, a real right hammer with his right foot. An incredible goal, you have to say he’s also an incredibly cool guy,” said the FC Bayern attacking player about the Werder Bremen striker.
With Füllkrug’s equalizing goal in the 83rd minute, the DFB selection has significantly better chances of reaching the knockout round of the World Cup in Qatar next Thursday against Costa Rica (8 p.m., in the WELT sports ticker). “You can tell by the goal what qualities he has. There’s no better way to shoot it. That was a brutally important goal for us,” said midfielder Ilkay Gündogan. Defense chief Antonio Rüdiger also stated: “Niclas came in and did his job and that’s what keeps us alive.”
The trembling is far from over for the German team. After the hard-earned draw, the first win in Qatar is essential for a place in the round of 16 against Costa Rica – and Spain must provide support against Japan. Otherwise the embarrassing second World Cup knockout in the group phase will still be a bitter reality for the four-time world champion.
The German players in the individual review
Manuel Neuer: His 18th World Cup game – only Brazil’s Cláudio Taffarel and German football legend Sepp Maier have previously played so many times as a goalkeeper at a World Cup. Deflected a shot by Dani Olmos to the underside of the bar in the seventh minute – a very important act. In the middle of the first half, Neuer put his team under pressure for a moment with a bad pass. When conceding a goal without a chance, he then intercepted several passes from the Spaniards in front of his penalty area.
Thilo Kehrer: New in the starting XI – surprisingly, national coach Hansi Flick did not set him up in the 2-1 draw against Japan. Started solidly at right-back but was not good with the ball at one point and had to make up for a mistake with a foul that resulted in a yellow card. Few accents forward, before the 0: 1 he didn’t bother Jordi Alba with enough determination when he crossed.
From the 69th minute of the game: Lukas Klostermann, grade 3
Antonio Ruediger: Sovereign defense chief, conducted and ordered the newly formed defensive chain without Nico Schlotterbeck. His headed goal from a free kick didn’t count because of offside. Strong in positional play, he anticipated many actions by the Spaniards and exuded security in almost every situation. In the first half he did not lose a duel and gave up two of the three German shots on goal. As against Japan one of the best Germans.
Niklas Sule: Always had to deal with Dani Olmo – and solved this task well. Clever at first in most duels, winning 71 percent of his duels in the first half of the game. After the 2-1 draw against Japan, Borussia Dortmund’s defender was heavily criticized. At 0: 1, however, not fast enough and too far away from the substitute goal scorer Alvaro Morata. As against Japan again involved in a goal – for Süle it has been a bitter World Cup so far.
David Room: Often on the ball on the left side of defence. He was not always able to use his free space, sometimes lost the ball in the early stages and threw a throw-in wide. But he also won a lot of duels (67 percent in the first half) and always won the ball. Forward with more action than his opponent Thilo Kehrer, but not really effectively.
From the 87th minute of the game: Nico Schlotterbeck, without note
Joshua Kimmich: His free kicks caused danger several times – like Antonio Rüdiger’s offside goal. Repeatedly called for the ball, dropped and was playable. A key player in central midfield. After a defensive error by the Spaniards, he had a free shot in the penalty area in the 56th minute, but shot unplaced and hard enough. His free kick on the edge of the penalty area just before the end of the game landed in the wall. Committed driver.
Ilkay Gundogan: Little to see in the first half and only 17 times on the ball. This time national coach Hansi Flick put him on the central offensive, Gündogan was not present enough at first. In duels, he usually behaved cleverly. But he seems to need the game in front of him to excel. In the second half he placed the ball very carefully and thoughtfully on Joshua Kimmich in the penalty area, the action almost made it 1-0. As a “ten” but not as effective as hoped.
From the 65th minute of the game: Leroy Sané, Note 2
Leon Goretzka: In the Japan game, Flick only substituted him in the second half. Now the midfield star of FC Bayern was allowed to play alongside Joshua Kimmich from the start. Won the ball several times and then initiated attacks that became dangerous. Fast thinking and awake. His physicality and power did the German game good. However, he didn’t finish the goal, although the team urgently needed it.
Serge Gnabry: Lurked a lot on the right flank and played with commitment, but again not effectively enough. Once he was offside, once he missed the goal on the left. After a mistake by the Spaniards, there was a good opportunity in the first half, but Gnabry couldn’t control the ball and placed the ball too imprecisely on the free-standing Thomas Müller. Disrupted the Spaniards early on, but made several bad passes in the second half, thwarting promising German attacks.
From the 84th minute: Jonas Hofmann, without grade
Jamal Musiala: The most dangerous German player in the offensive. Almost always playable, he often dribbled past several opponents. The Spaniards could often only stop him with fouls. Exuded confidence and kept pulling from the left towards the penalty area. He was also defensively attentive with set pieces, in the first half he blocked a chance for the Spaniards after a corner kick. In the closing stages, the 19-year-old had a great opportunity but was denied by Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simon. Still full of energy and winning the ball in the final phase, Leroy Sané passed the ball on to Niclas Füllkrug, who scored to make it 1-1.
Thomas Müller: The 2014 world champion initially put up a lot of balls with his head and disturbed the Spaniards early on. Müller conducted a lot and called out commands to his teammates. Didn’t finish offensively, but made some good passes. Tried everything and ran a lot, but it wasn’t his World Cup night.
From the 69th minute of the game: Niclas filling jug, grade 1