Bratwurst and beer in a Bedouin tent – how Germany stayed alive at the World Cup

Germany gave themselves hope of avoiding another embarrassing early World Cup exit when they snatched a 1-1 draw with Spain on Sunday.
Any job is easier when you use the right tools, and on Sunday a bruised Germany bounced off the World Cup ropes to come from behind in their Group E match with Spain to earn a priceless 1-1 draw and boost their chances of reaching the knockout phase.
An opening match defeat by Japan had hardly augured well for this clash in the Al Bayt Stadium.
Spain’s 6-0 rout of the Germans the last time they met added to the apprehension. And the grim backdrop of dissatisfied sponsors, and many Germans back home wishing their team had not even come to Qatar because of the host nation’s human rights record, can have done little to boost German morale.
But if this was a German team in crisis, you would never have known it and they set about their task with plenty of huff and not inconsiderable puff. Much industry, though precious little art.
Having survived until half-time goalless, the inevitable began to loom when they fell behind to a 62nd-minute Alvaro Morata flick.
Many in the arena expected Spain ease to the finish line as they stretched the Germans this way and that with incisive passing and tireless pressing.
But then German coach Hansi Flick played his masterstroke.
Sweeping aside years of alternative and introspective German attacking strategies centred on an obsession with “false nines”, he threw on a real number nine, a target man in the most German of attacking moulds.
Never mind that the 29-year-old Niclas Füllkrug had only made his Germany debut earlier this month in a friendly against Oman. With seven minutes left on the clock he smashed home a loose ball to revitalise the Germans and give them a point they thoroughly deserved.
Old-fashioned centre forward
Who knew? If you want goals, turn to an old-fashioned centre forward. It had worked in all four of Germany’s World Cup titles.
“He showed his determination to score. He gives the team a lot. not only the goal. He has his heart in the right place,” Flick told reporters.
Thoroughly reinvigorated from the introduction of Füllkrug, Germany looked a different side.
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Eight years of tinkering following the retirement of all-time World Cup scorer Miroslav Klose was instantly forgotten as Füllkrug led the line in the fashion of German ...