Hansi Flick: Draw with Spain the 'spark' Germany needs to ignite World Cup campaign

Fullkrug cancelled out Morata's opener to earn the Germans a vital point in Group E

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Hansi Flick believes Germany's late equaliser to claim a 1-1 draw with Spain on Sunday could be the "spark we need" to ignite their 2022 World Cup campaign.

Substitute Niklas Fullkrug thundered in an 83rd-minute goal to cancel out Spain's lead and earn the four-time world champions their first point from two matches following their shock opening loss to Japan.

The point keeps alive Germany's hopes of advancing to the knockout stage ahead of Thursday's final Group E match against Costa Rica, which they must win.

"We knew what was at stake. Spain played good football but the teams were level and we had a huge chance in the end to win it, but these things happen," Flick told reporters.

"Things come to you when you start winning. Maybe it is the spark we need."

Leroy Sane missed a golden opportunity to give Germany the victory but Flick said he was satisfied with his team's performance.

"The team fought hard and I am very satisfied with their mentality. These are the things we want and we know that we did take the first step," he said. "We want to have the conditions against Costa Rica to reach the knockout phase."

Germany were teetering on the brink of elimination in the group stage for the second World Cup in a row but their draw, combined with Japan's surprise loss to Costa Rica, now moves the Germans into positive territory.

"Costa Rica showed good mentality to come back from a 7-0 loss to Spain [and beat Japan]," Flick said. "Football is like that. Sometimes it's not those with the most chances that win. We experienced that against Japan."

Germany are on one point with Costa Rica and Japan on three. Spain, who next play the Japanese, are on four.

Flick said he would not rush to focus on Costa Rica, knowing that his players needing to process Sunday's game first.

Spain v Germany player ratings

"It is still too far away to think about Costa Rica," he said. "We have to let this game sink in and generate self confidence."

Asked whether he had watched Costa Rica's win earlier, Flick said he had not but heard "a small celebration" from his team following the result.

Meanwhile, Spain manager Luis Enrique insisted his side will not take Japan lightly and will play to win despite leading the group.

"There was a strange feeling in the changing room because we had the opportunity to beat Germany and we let it slip through our hands and that was a shame," Luis Enrique told a news conference.

"But we have to think that we are at the top of the so-called 'Group of Death' and we have to stay positive.

"A draw against Japan on Thursday would probably send us through to knockouts but we will not speculate. We will use our full strength and go for the win to secure the top in the group standings."

Updated: November 28, 2022, 5:15 AM