Niclas Fullkrug scored against Spain in the 82nd minute to earn Germany a draw and a point in Group E and keep knockout hopes alive, in the FIFA World Cup 2022, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar, on Sunday.
After Spain took the lead minutes after the hour mark, from an Alvaro Morata strike, Hansi Flick decided to reshuffle his pack, replacing Thomas Muller with Niclas Fullkrug.
And that change made all the difference as Germany’a attack against the run of play saw the 29-year-old bury the ball into the net, leaving Unai Simon, Spain’s goalkeeper unmoved with his hands raised.
Fullkrug’s goal became Germany’s first by a substitute since the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina when Mario Götze found the net.
Aged 29 years and 280 days, Niclas Fullkrug became the oldest outfield player to make his debut for Germany in 20 years when he took the field in Germany’s match against Oman. Martin Max was 33 years and 253 days old, when he made his first appearance for the German team in 2002 against Argentina.
He also scored in the match which was Germany’s last warm up match before the World Cup in Qatar.
Niclas Fullkrug plays for Werder Bremen where he scored seven goals in the first eight matchdays. Only Rudi Völler scored more goals in the first eight matchdays of a Bundesliga season in 1985/86 (8).
Fullkrug joined the World Cup 2022 camp as the highest German goalscorer in the Bundesliga, with 10 goals in 14 games and has remained a key member for Bremen, guiding it to promotion last season
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A loss to Spain in Sunday’s match would have left Germany with zero points and on the brink of elimination. The draw, however, ensures that Germany has better chances of qualifying, though it still needs a win.