Niclas Fullkrug scored in the 83rd minute for Germany after he came on as a sub for Thomas Muller.
Fullkrug’s strike tied the game after Alvaro Morata scored in the 61st minute to give Spain the lead. Like Fullkrug, Morata came on the field as a sub as he replaced Ferran Torres early in the second half.
Fullkrug’s goal means Germany can advance to the knockout rounds with a win over Costa Rica on Thursday and a little help from Spain against Japan. The Costa Ricans beat Japan 1-0 in yet another World Cup upset early Sunday morning. Costa Rica was blitzed 7-0 by Spain in its first game of the tournament while Japan beat Germany 2-1.
Germany briefly got on the board first on Sunday but its first-half goal was waived off for offside. Antonio Rudiger scored a header off a free kick but he was offside as he made his run. The Germans also had numerous other chances but Spain goalie Unai Simon had a fantastic game. Simon snuffed out a late chance by Germany's Leroy Sané by flushing Sané out wide as he was bearing down on goal.
A Spain win would have put the 2010 World Cup champions through to the knockout rounds before the final game of group play and forced the 2014 winners to get a lot of help on the final day of Group E play to advance.
Instead, Germany can advance with a win and a Spain win or a win and a tie between Spain and Japan. Since Spain scored so many goals against Costa Rica, it’s unlikely that Germany would surpass Spain in goal difference if both Germany and Japan won on Thursday.
A Spanish victory would have also meant the first back-to-back World Cup losses for Germany since the 1958 tournament and put Germany on the precipice of group-stage elimination for the second consecutive World Cup. Germany failed to advance out of the group in 2018 after losing to Mexico and South Korea in the group stage.