Soccer News: Neuer was relieved that Germany is ‘still alive’ at the World Cup after draw with Spain

    Manuel Neuer has expressed relief that Germany is “still alive” in the World Cup after they saved a 1-1 draw with Spain on Sunday.

    Germany’s hopes of reaching the round of 16 were dashed when they lost their first match against Japan.

    However, Costa Rica responded to a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Spain by beating Japan 1-0, leaving a team to play for in the Group E finals.

    Álvaro Morata gave Spain the lead in a battle between Group E heavyweights at Al Bayt Stadium, but German Niklas Fullkrug came off the bench to equalize and give his team the first point.

    To progress, Hansi Flick’s German team must beat Costa Rica in Thursday’s last group match and hope Spain does them a favor against Japan.

    Goalkeeper Neuer, who prevented Dani Olmo from scoring an early goal when he hit the crossbar with his palm, is simply delighted that Germany still has a chance of avoiding a second consecutive World Cup group stage elimination.

    “It was a tough match against a very good Spain team,” said the German captain. “We went into the fight and didn’t give them many chances for 90 minutes.

    “Our defensive performance was excellent throughout. Because of our compactness, it was difficult for them to score a goal against us. Their goal was just quality, and it was very difficult to defend against it. However, we continued to believe in ourselves.

    “The main thing is that we are still alive. What we can do is get three points against Costa Rica.”

    Fullkrug only made his international debut earlier this month and scored his first goal for Germany in a cameo after being called up late.

    The 29-year-old Werder striker said: “We were determined to get a result from the game and that was very important to our confidence.

    “We still have room for improvement. We don’t have to get carried away, but we can start the final game with the hope that we can beat it.”

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