Spain vs Germany result: Niclas Fullkrug earns Germans vital draw to keep World Cup hopes alive

Germany handed World Cup lifeline – with a little help from former England international - Friedemann Vogel/EPA
Germany handed World Cup lifeline – with a little help from former England international - Friedemann Vogel/EPA

Spain 1 Germany 1

09:46 PM

Report

Germany summon spirit, and sub Füllkrug, to stay alive

Niclas Füllkrug had only been a Germany international for 12 days and as recently as last season he was not even a top-flight player, but as a great football nation sought some kind of saviour, the time had finally arrived for this 29-year-old striker.

The second goal of his international career was the equaliser that saved Germany – for now at least. This team is a long way from the great German  teams of the past and a second consecutive group-stage elimination would be this habitually successful country’s worst World Cup period. It might yet happen but for now they have a chance.

On the occasion of Füllkrug’s third cap he played like a man who may never win another – and that may yet be the case. A different story for the talented young Jamal Musiala, whose final touch it was that put the ball in Füllkrug’s path on 83 minutes. The 19-year-old is the brightest young talent in the Germany team and he might yet be its brightest full stop.

The Stuttgart-born, southwest London-raised former England youth international was one of those entrusted by Hansi Flick to carry the fight in the final stages after an evening of chasing Spain’s passes. When it came down to those crucial last minutes, Flick substituted his great midfielder İlkay Gündoğan as well as Thomas Müller. In their place came Leroy Sané and Füllkrug and they gathered the momentum to get the equaliser.

Two straight group-stage defeats would have put Germany on the path to elimination, and crushed the general sense of purpose. For now they are still alive in Group E where all four teams go into Thursday’s last round of games in contention to qualify. Germany will have to beat Costa Rica to have any chance of the second round and also hope that Spain beat Japan. A draw for Japan, who lost to Costa Rica earlier in the day, and a German win, will mean second place comes down to goal difference.

Spain's Alvaro Morata scores the opening goal past Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer - Petr David Josek/AP
Spain's Alvaro Morata scores the opening goal past Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer - Petr David Josek/AP

This was a strange evening for Spain whose first-half domination failed to deliver a goal. It eventually prompted Luis Enrique to abandon his false-nine plan with Marco Asensio in that ambiguous role and send on Álvaro Morata instead. When Morata scored with a thrilling finish on 62 minutes it felt like all the pieces had fallen into place for Spain. Instead, they ceased to be as dominant as they had been.

“What was important to me was the mentality was there,” Flick would say later. “They [German players] showed they wanted to get possession and create goalscoring opportunities. I am more than satisfied with the result.”

For Germany it seems quite simple now – the team is between two epochs and a second-round place would be an improvement on the disastrous defence of their title four years ago at Russia 2018. After that they have another couple of years before their home tournament of Euro 2024 to build a team and an identity, with Musiala at the centre of it. Spain, on the other hand, have an identity – and it is much the same as that of the great Spain teams of the last 15 years. The question is whether they can make it work for them.

They can still pass the ball better than anyone else. But you do wonder where the matchwinners are in this team. Two years ago Spain had dispatched Germany 6-0 in the Nations League – the two sides’ most recent meeting before this night. This time they always looked vulnerable, especially when Germany lost their inhibitions.

Enrique’s Spain are set up like the great Pep Guardiola Barcelona sides that featured Lionel Messi as a false nine in the place of a conventional central striker. The passing began, the carousel spun and Spain tried to tempt Germany’s defence out of position.

Sergio Busquets, at 34, winning his 141st cap, is the thread back to the great Guardiola side of that Barca era. He has Pedri and Gavi either side of him as the inheritors of the legacy. They even have a converted midfielder at centre-back, the great Manchester City general Rodri. Dani Olmo was their most effective attacking player and forced the best save out of Manuel Neuer in the first half.

Both Luis Enrique and Hansi Flick were reasonably satisfied with a point - Ercin Erturk/Getty Images
Both Luis Enrique and Hansi Flick were reasonably satisfied with a point - Ercin Erturk/Getty Images

Spain attempted around twice the number of passes Germany did. Enrique’s players broke through German lines much more than their opponents. They dominated much of the game but the threat in front of goal was not quite what it should have been.

That was until Morata, scored after the hour – a beautifully worked goal down the left that went from Rodri to Olmo to Raúl Albiol. The real spice was in the finish, with Morata running to the near post and the goal over his shoulder. With Niklas Süle behind him he used the pace of the ball and the angle to beat Neuer. A glorious touch and it should have been the beginning of the end for Germany. Antonio Rüdiger had seen a header disallowed for offside but most of it had been about their defending.

For some teams the pressure might have been too great, but Germany dealt with the anxiety well. Flick gambled on the substitutions, bringing off Gündoğan among others. Sané was excellent. The pressure increased on Spain whose goalkeeper Unai Simón had looked shaky at times and then suddenly the chances came. Füllkrug scored when Musiala turned on the ball from Sané, and the man from Werder Bremen took over with a sharp half-volley past Simón.

Strangely it felt about right for Germany. They had thrown everything at Spain and Füllkrug was just the right man at the right time – World Cups can be like that. He has waited his whole career, one presumes, for this chance.

Match details

Spain (4-3-3): Simon 5; Carvajal 6, Rodri 6, Laporte 6, Alba 6 (Balde 83); Pedri 6, Busquets 6, Gavi 6 (Williams 66); Asensio 6 (Koke 66), Olmo 7, Torres 5 (Morata 54). 
Booked: Busquets.
Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer 6; Kehrer 6 (Klostermann 72), Sule 5, Rudiger 6, Raum 6 (Schlotterbeck 87); Kimmich 6, Goretzka 6; Gnabry 6 (Hofmann 85), Gundogan 6 (Sane 72), Musiala 7; Muller 5 (Fullkrug 72).
Booked: Goretzka, Kehrer, Kimmich.
Referee: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands).
Att: 68,895.

Spain 1 Germany 1: As it happened

09:14 PM

Gary Lineker

closes the broadcast with "Allo allo, Herr Flick's back in it." Indeed. We will get to Sam Wallace's match report shortly I am sure.

In the meantime, here's a bit of background on a very talented young German player who had an excellent match this evening:

Meet Jamal Musiala - the former public schoolboy out to break England's hearts

From me, Alan Tyers, thanks for following with us and we'll see you for the next one.

09:13 PM

Ilkay Gundogan on the BBC

"We needed that. Maybe it was meant to be in that way. Maybe we could have scored earlier. Just on the chances, I think we were a little bit better. But I think a draw is fair against a very good side.

"Playing in the World Cup, you always know it is going to be dramatic. I was on the bench talking to Thomas Muller and we both said, there is still a goal in this for us. Niclas (Füllkrug) took the goal well, a real striker. A number nine."

09:06 PM

Who shone and who sucked?

Rank and rate the players with our player rater.

09:05 PM

Alvaro Morata talks to the BBC

"On the bench you are always focused and you hope that you can come on and make a difference for the team.

"It was a good game, it could have been a semi or a final.

"The most important thing is to win, we didn't have the victory but we keep training, we have good vibes, we are positive.

"Japan are a good team, they are a good tactic. Everyone can see that the games are crazy."

Gary Lineker: "He scores when it Moratas." Oh Gary.

09:04 PM

Germany must be pretty pleased

Although in fairness even a defeat would have meant that they needed to beat Costa Rica and Spain to beat Japan. It also means that Spain are not totally necessarily through, so they won't be coasting?

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09:00 PM

Here's Rudiger's offside goal from earlier

Germany's Antonio Rudiger scores but it is ruled out for offside - Reuters
Germany's Antonio Rudiger scores but it is ruled out for offside - Reuters

08:56 PM

Full time: Spain 1 Germany 1

Germany are still alive. It leaves them with one point, Costa Rica have three, Japan three and Spain four. Germany need to beat Costa Rica by enough that they can turn the goal difference around on Japan. They also need Spain to beat Japan.

08:54 PM

90+6 mins: Spain 1 Germany 1

Goretzka with a great tackled and Germany break. Sane.... down the left, beats one, beats another, tries to go round the keeper. Cross it! You've got a man there! Noooooooo. He fails to spot the runner and he's wasted the moment.

That is going to be the last meaningful action.

08:53 PM

90+4 mins: Spain 1 Germany 1

Busquets loses his bearings and smacks his head into the beefy, unmoved figure of Goretzka. Painful. Funny, to be fair.

08:51 PM

90+3 mins: Spain 1 Germany 1

Germany have a corner. Their fans roar. Poor delivery.

08:50 PM

90 mins: Spain 1 Germany 1

Germany need it more. But you could see Spain doing them on the break, no doubt.

Ref has found six minutes to add on.

08:48 PM

87 mins: Spain 1 Germany 1

Morata with a dangerous run and that is a fantastic covering tackle from the sub Schlotterbeck. Absolutely brilliant bit of defending. He pumps his fist as he gets up. Any misjudgment and that was a pen.

Jordi Alba has come off. Alejandro Balde on for Spain.

Jonas Hofmann on for Serge Gnabry for Germany.

08:45 PM

84 mins: Spain 1 Germany 1

Game has surely been a bit more like it since both sides, erm, got a striker on...

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Can either side nick one?

08:43 PM

GOAL! Spain 1 Germany 1 (Füllkrug 83)

The big man has done it! Powers his way through the area, holds off a challenge and has absolutely wellied it into the top, far corner. Old Simon in the goal nowhere near that, and just as well because it might have done him a serious mischief. What a hit!

Füllkrug was playing second tier football until recently, international debut at 29, and he's maybe kept his country in the World Cup!

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08:41 PM

80 mins: Spain 1 Germany 0

Germany's fate will be out of their hands as it stands. But their goosen is nicht cooken. They can skill go through if they beat Costa Ri-ca-ca-ca handily. And Spain beat Japan.

This Füllkrug is a big beefy feller up front and he is putting it about a bit in a manner the Spanish don't appear to be loving.

08:39 PM

78 mins: Spain 1 Germany 0

Luis Enrique urging his guys on, he wants another.

08:37 PM

77 mins: Spain 1 Germany 0

Musiala seems to have an ally in Sane and the two talented youngsters are trying to jink and dance their way though here

08:32 PM

72 mins: Spain 1 Germany 0

Musiala has been Germany's best player. Gets through now. Crosses. Denied.

And then a few seconds later, he gets the ball in the box, lets rip with a fierce shot but sadly for him, straight at Simon. It his Si on the arm.

Germany causing a few problems at the corner as well but Spain hold firm.

08:30 PM

70 mins: Spain 1 Germany 0

Game opening up. Germany need something here.

Flick switches three. Gundogan, Muller and Kehrer off. The first two were well below their best. The third is a fullback on a yellow.

Sane, Fullkrug and Klostermann are the guys who come on.

08:26 PM

66 mins: Spain 1 Germany 0

That's the lot for Gavi and Asensio.

They both go off. Koke and Williams on.

That's three changes for Spain. Herr Flick yet to show his hand.

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08:24 PM

64 mins: Spain 1 Germany 0

Spain nearly double up! The game's really opened up. They get through again and Germany are very relieved that the shot from 19 yards blazes over. Gavi the man who played it in, Asensio the man who hoofed it over.

08:21 PM

GOAL! Spain 0 Germany 1 (Morata 62)

Very similar to the move just now. It's Alba who pops up on the overlap down the left, plays the ball across, and here is the sub Morata who gets to the near post in front of his man and finishes with a nice little clip. Pleasing on the eye, that was. Morata has only been on for 8 minutes.

Now then Germany!

08:19 PM

60 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

This is an attractive Spanish move and here is the talented Olmo picking it up on the left. Cuts inside but just a few too folk in the way.

08:17 PM

58 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Wor Sir Alan Shearer is growing frustrated on the BBC. "Three Germans are in the box but none of them is moving. They need a centre forward in there."

08:16 PM

55 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Good old fashioned grappling match between Goretzka and Asensio ends with the German booked.

Jim White writes from the stadium: "Not sure Michael Cox has many who agree with him here, Al. They're trying to get a Mexican wave going in the upper tier..."

08:15 PM

54 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Not for the first time in this match, a goalie with a needlessly poor clearance. It's Simon again, it plays Spain into real trouble and it ends with Kimmich shooting wide.

08:14 PM

53 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Germany have a chance to play in a freekick but blooter it harmlessly out.

Fernan Torres is being brought off. Morata is coming on.

08:12 PM

52 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Busquets shoves Gundogan.

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08:11 PM

51 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

An intriguing tactical battle for me, Ralph. A clash of styles. Iberian flair versus Teutonic... trousers? Not sure.

No actual goals or really many shots, but it's gauche to care about that.

08:06 PM

47 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Muller finds a bit of space, but that space is offside.

08:05 PM

46 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

It's Spain who are the first to show. Asensio with a good gallop down the left flank but Torres cannot take up a suitable position for a pass.

08:02 PM

Players are out for the second half

no changes.

Neuer was in the action in the first half - AFP
Neuer was in the action in the first half - AFP

07:55 PM

Use our player ratings tool

Would you like to give the players a mark out of ten based on their performances in the first half? Give us your scores and the best ones will win the Lost City of Atlantis. Terms and conditions apply, specifically that you will not win the Lost City of Atlantis and your marks will not be judged. It's just a bit of fun. No pressure.

07:50 PM

Half time: Spain 0 Germany 0

Good close game. Well, a close game. An okay close game. Germany had the ball in the net and were unlucky to have that chalked off, I guess.

Oop, Michael says it was good.

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07:47 PM

45 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Spain play a freekick into the German box. Gavi is on the premises. Bit of a scramble in there but the Germans just about keep them out.

Spain now have a corner and that's cleared for the last action of the half.

07:46 PM

44 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Deep ball into the Spanish box. Rudiger finds himself in the unusual position of being unmarked and tries a thunderous volley. Not entirely sure if that was a cross or a shot - it was quite a narrow angle. Neuer, more surprised than troubled by the shot per se, beats it away.

07:45 PM

43 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Musiala is having a good game. Strong running, hold up play. Gets clear of Rodri BUT nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Here's dear old Biscuits doing what he does best, a cynical foul, and he's tried to help Musiala off with his shirt. Booked.

07:40 PM

39 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Germany have the ball in the net after Rudiger heads in from a freekick. The goal is given. But this is probably going to be offside isn't it? Var disallows the goal. It is. Rudiger moved too soon at the back stick.

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? No, not really. I loathe Var, I really do.

07:37 PM

36 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Kehrer slides in hard, fails to get the ball, but does get the game's first yellow card.

07:36 PM

33 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

And after a period of pressure, here is F Torres getting a shot away from the right of the area. Blocked - really good slide in from Musiala. Leads to a corner but Germany deal with that ok.

07:35 PM

32 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Incisive vertical transition from Spain, very Luis Enrique. Ends with Ferran Torres failing to hit the target. He is delighted to see the offside flag. Olmo, who carried the ball forward, was offside.

07:34 PM

31 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Gnabry not up to it in my opinion. Looks a weak link. When you consider the forwards Germany have had over the years....

Muller not really finding the spaces he so famously can do, yet.

07:33 PM

30 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Marco Asensio looking to find a way through.

Antonio Rudiger tries a shot from miles away and that's not going to trouble the scorer.

07:28 PM

27 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Raum fouls Carvajal.

07:27 PM

25 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

And now it is the German keeper's turn to give the ball away weakly. Well, well. Neuer sprays it to Gavi, who feeds his colleague Torres. A chance for Fernan Torres but he cannot get the ball out from under his feet and the moment passes.

07:26 PM

24 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Excellent press again from Germany. Harassing the Spain side in their own box. They pinch it! Muller and Musiala link. Gündogan very nearly finds a way through but cannot find a shot. But now a VERY sloppy clearance from Simon in the Spanish goal. Straight to Gnabry. Luckily for old Simon, Gnabry cannot do a lot with the shot.

07:22 PM

22 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

German defence shows Jordi Alba inside, he shoots low but Neuer knows exactly where his off stump is and he dives, lets the ball go maybe 18 inches wide of his right hand post.

07:21 PM

21 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

But here's Pedri! It is opening up for him... just runs into too much traffic.

07:21 PM

20 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Good from Germany. High press, nowhere for the Spanish ball-players to go, forcing them to hit it long.

07:19 PM

17 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Spain have had maybe 75% of the ball.

07:18 PM

15 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

Dani Carvajal with a header back that momentarily plays the keeper into pressure.

Germany full of beans and pressing.

07:16 PM

12 mins: Spain 0 Germany 0

A very quiet few minutes with neither side able to assert superiority after one dangerous moment apiece.

07:11 PM

8 min: Spain 0 Germany 0

Germany with a break through the press. Here is Goretzka, carrying it, delaying, delaying, delaying slipping it through to Gnabry... who is offside. Needed to just put him in earlier. But still, signs from the Germans that they are not going to let Spain just play.

07:08 PM

5 min: Spain 0 Germany 0

An excellent, neat attack from Spain. Asensio lays it off and here is Olmo purring onto the ball. He hits a thunderous shot from outside the box and Neuer does well to tip that onto the bar. Think he saw it late. Got just enough of a hand on it.

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07:03 PM

3 min: Spain 0 Germany 0

A busy, well contested battle in midfield. Goretzka with a nibble at Gavi. Ref gives a foul.

Spain: Simon, Carvajal, Rodri, Laporte, Jordi Alba, Gavi, Busquets, Gonzalez, Ferran Torres, Asensio, Olmo. Subs: Sanchez, Azpilicueta, Garcia, Pau Torres, Llorente, Morata, Koke, Williams, Raya, Balde, Guillamon, Pino, Carlos Soler, Sarabia, Fati.

Germany: Neuer, Sule, Kehrer, Rudiger, Raum, Gundogan, Kimmich, Goretzka, Gnabry, Muller, Musiala. Subs: Ginter, Havertz, Fullkrug, Gotze, Trapp, Klostermann, Brandt, Hofmann, Sane, Gunter, ter Stegen, Schlotterbeck, Adeyemi, Kotchap, Moukoko.

07:00 PM

1 min: Spain 0 Germany 0

An early attack from the Spanish side peters out and Germany clear.

07:00 PM

Spain

in their all red to kick off. Germany all white but with some black trim.

06:58 PM

Two former winners of course meet

There is one surviving member from the 2010 Spain triumph. It is, of course, Sergio Busquets.

06:57 PM

Anthem time

Spain to play first. A stirring rendition.

Now over to Die Mannschaft. An excellent renewal. They look well up for this. As well they might: a defeat here would be a serious blow. Albeit not a fatal one necessarily. We could end up with a 9333 here.

06:52 PM

Germany team analysis

Germany changes: Thilo Kehrer in the place of Nico Schlotterbeck at full-back.

Hansi Flick has also dropped forward Kai Havertz, boosting his midfield with Leon Goretzka.

06:51 PM

Spain team analysis

Dan Carvajal is replacing Cesar Azpilicueta in defence.

That's the only change that Spain are making. Dani Olmo, Feran Torres and Marco Asensio will play up front.

06:49 PM

Exciting match ahead

we hope. Spain likely to play a 4-3-3 we assume, but what sort of role will they get from their central forward, Asensio?

06:40 PM

Jürgen Klinsmann

is asked if he'd like to clarify his remarks about Iranian culture.

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"Quieroz took what I said the wrong way. Maybe the Iranians took it wrong because they see me as the former US coach."

06:36 PM

Pochettino

"The experience at the World Cup has been fantastic. Everything is very well organised."

06:36 PM

Group E

position finds Germany on zero points, and then the other three teams on three points. Spain obviously have by far and away the best goal difference of the contenders, having panelled poor old Costa Rica 7-0 the other day.

06:33 PM

Warm ups

German players warm-up before the World Cup group E match - AP
German players warm-up before the World Cup group E match - AP

06:26 PM

Looks like BBC have a guest

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06:15 PM

Jimmy!

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06:13 PM

The Teams

Spain: Simon, Carvajal, Rodri, Laporte, Jordi Alba, Gavi, Busquets, Gonzalez, Ferran Torres, Asensio, Olmo. Subs: Sanchez, Azpilicueta, Garcia, Pau Torres, Llorente, Morata, Koke, Williams, Raya, Balde, Guillamon, Pino, Carlos Soler, Sarabia, Fati.

Germany: Neuer, Sule, Kehrer, Rudiger, Raum, Gundogan, Kimmich, Goretzka, Gnabry, Muller, Musiala. Subs: Ginter, Havertz, Fullkrug, Gotze, Trapp, Klostermann, Brandt, Hofmann, Sane, Gunter, ter Stegen, Schlotterbeck, Adeyemi, Kotchap, Moukoko.

German fan ahead of Spain match - Getty
German fan ahead of Spain match - Getty

05:56 PM

Luis Enrique

Luis Enrique warned overconfidence could cause Spain's downfall when they face Germany in their second Group E clash on Sunday.

Spain dominated their opening contest, trouncing Costa Rica 7-0 with the highest margin of any win in Qatar so far and netting the most goals the country have ever scored in a World Cup match.

It was a performance that surprised even their manager, who urged his players to remain measured in their response to the decisive victory.

Luis Enrique said: "We tried to manage that victory with all normality. We got the three points, that's it.

"It was a resounding victory that fills us with confidence, but we shouldn't have too much confidence. We are facing an opponent, Germany, against which we cannot be overconfident otherwise they will hammer us.

"We have a very smart squad, smart enough to know that we have to respect our opponent, and we will have to give it our all. It's a great challenge."

The former Real Madrid and Barcelona midfielder originally took over his national team in 2018, then stepped down for personal reasons while his young daughter underwent cancer treatment.

He was reappointed in 2019, following her death at the age of nine, and made his World Cup managerial debut in the Costa Rica clash on Wednesday, one he admitted went beyond his wildest expectations.

Luis Enrique said: "Well, in your debut you expect to go as far as possible. I did not expect to see such a good version of my team playing so well, it was such a pleasure to see my team performing the way they did."

Germany, who surprisingly lost their opening match against Japan, will be tougher opposition for Spain but Luis Enrique is looking forward to the test.

He said: "You might find it interesting, but I do so much better when I'm managing problems, and that's stupid. Don't laugh.

"I feel more at ease when I'm in the face of adversity, when I have to lift the mood of my players, to bring everything you've got inside, to make the most of my roots, my origins.

"As a coach I have very successful moments, but when I perform at my best is when I'm in the face of adversity and hardship."

05:54 PM

Live player ratings

Who's the star and who's having a stinker?

05:52 PM

A difficult match to call

where is your money?

05:51 PM

Kick off is

at 7pm UK.

05:42 PM

Two major nations...

come together for the first time in this World Cup, two sides who were among the handful of possible winners in most people's books. Germany, four-time winners, take on Spain, winners in 2010, in this group E fixture. And it is the Germany side who are really in need of a result. Defeat in their opening game at the hands of Japan has left them sweating on qualification.

More so than even England, they have had a build-up where a lot of the focus has been on the context of the tournament rather than the actual football.

Germany boss Hansi Flick has been sanguine about how much has been going on around the side.

He said: "It's just the way it is. We need to accept a lot of other things about all this noise in the background of what happened before the tournament, and the story with the armband. The main focus for me has been the football."

Germany made headlines when they covered their mouths for a team photo.

As to the performance re Japan, Flick said: "I think there were some situations where we made a lot of mistakes, where we got [things] wrong. Clearly, I tried to articulate it, and tried to explain that to the team, because it's important for them to understand and then to implement, and to make them sure that they can do what they've been told.

"We talked about the match. We're really convinced about our philosophy, how we want to play football. And, of course, we're going to try to do better tomorrow."

These sides are certainly closely match. Germany have won 9, Spain 8, 8 draws. But Spain knocked the Germans out of the 2010 Cup, and beat them in the final of the previous Euros to boot.

This match kicks of at 7pm in the UK and I will have the teams for you shortly before.