It was almost too perfect.
Germany was desperate and things had not looked great for just about the entire World Cup match against Spain.
That it was a freak occurrence where Jamal Musiala had perfectly timed a run and was slid a perfect pass that actually connected (no easy task for Die Mannschaft these days). The Germany wunderkind was left all alone:
And he bricked...badly.
Musiala had two options:
- Take the shot (ideally just better than the one he ultimately did).
- Slide a pass to a wide open Niclas Füllkrug, who was streaking ahead of his defender to the net for a tap-in.
The safe option (#2) would have ensured Germany would still be alive with a string chance to advance heading into the Costa Rica match. Choosing #1, however, ensured nothing and could have become the one moment in this tournament where the squad’s World Cup hopes completely unraveled.
Musiala chose to shoot and let loose with an attempt that saw far too much of Spain goalkeeper Unai Simón and not nearly enough of the back of the net.
For one of the few times in his young career, Musiala had failed to do the right thing — or at least convert a high-percentage chance — in a big moment. Despite his youth, Musiala assessed the play like a veteran.
“I have to score that or raise my head and pass. It’s going to be a difficult night for me,” Musiala told Sport1’s Kerry Hau (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
Indeed, the wunderkind — who has been such a force for Bayern Munich — has struggled at times on the world’s biggest stage. The youngster can, however, take solace in the fact that he has done some really good things for Germany (as evidenced by this tweet from @iMiaSanMia):
Luckily for Musiala, though, there is one more game and with a standout performance, he can help power Germany to the next round...something that did not seem all that like even just a few days ago.
Interested in a VERY in-depth review of Germany’s 1-1 draw with Spain? Then why not check out the latest episode of our podcast? We talk about everything from lineups, tactics, and individual performances, to a discussion about Bayern Munich at the World Cup overall. Listen to it below or on Spotify.
As always, we appreciate all the support!