Thomas Muller cancels out Rodrigo opener as Germany and Spain draw in Dusseldorf
Rodrigo had given Spain the lead in the clash between two of the favourites for World Cup glory this summer.
Thomas Muller’s thunderous equaliser ensured the heavyweight friendly showdown between Germany and Spain finished all-square in Dusseldorf.
Rodrigo gave Spain an early lead in the battle between the last two World Cup winners but Muller levelled things up before half-time with an unstoppable 25-yard shot.
Both teams had chances to win the game, with Germany defender Mats Hummels hitting the crossbar and opposing goalkeepers David de Gea and Marc-Andre ter Stegen cementing their reputations as two of the best stoppers on the planet, but no more goals were forthcoming as the match finished 1-1.
Spain travelled to Germany unbeaten in 16 games since Julen Lopetegui took the reins after Euro 2016, but Friday’s clash at a sold-out Esprit Arena represented arguably their biggest test of that run.
With that in mind, Lopetegui named a strong side – as did Germany counterpart Joachim Low – which included a 150th international appearance for Sergio Ramos.
And the 2010 World Cup winners could hardly have made a better start against the reigning world champions, taking the lead inside six minutes.
Andres Iniesta picked out Rodrigo’s run in behind Hummels with an inch-perfect pass into the box, and the Valencia forward fired a rising first-time shot past Ter Stegen.
That was just the start Spain would have been hoping for, but Germany – also unbeaten since the European Championships in a run of 21 matches – rallied and went close through Jonas Hector and Timo Werner before Muller drew them level 10 minutes before the break with a stunning strike.
Mesut Ozil, Hector, Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira were all involved before the ball was fed to Muller and the Bayern Munich forward took one touch before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top corner of De Gea’s net.
De Gea had no chance to save that, but Germany found the Manchester United keeper unbeatable otherwise.
He was called into action just moments after the restart to brilliantly turn away Julian Draxler’s 25-yard piledriver and then produced another impressive stop to deny Ilkay Gundogan.
In between those efforts Germany keeper Ter Stegen showed what he can do with a fine save from Isco.
The hosts continued to pose the greater goalscorer threat, however, and Werner went close again before Hummels sent a 65th-minute header crashing against the crossbar from Kroos’ cross.
Spain substitute Diego Costa had chance to snatch a late winner but he could not convert and the two countries – who could meet again in the World Cup semi-finals – ended up sharing the honours.