Hansi Flick gratefully hugged Niclas Füllkrug, then the only goal scorer of the evening had to go straight to a TV interview after his goal debut. In a sluggish World Cup dress rehearsal, the Bremen international newcomer redeemed the long-stunned national coach with his late goal to make it 1-0 (0-0) in Oman.
Exactly one week before the World Cup opening game against Japan (2:00 p.m. CET in the FAZ live ticker for the soccer World Cup, on ARD and on Magenta TV), the national soccer team, which was very mixed in terms of personnel, was unable to cause great optimism before the World Cup. The debut of young star Youssoufa Moukoko as the fourth youngest national player fizzled out quite ineffectively. The teenager hit the post at his best chance.
Füllkrug was more fortunate, who did exactly what Flick nominated him for – a late hit. The national coach had made the last game before the start of the tournament in Qatar a big field of experimentation and did without regulars like Jamal Musiala, Serge Gnabry and Niklas Süle as well as the return of Mario Götze, who scored the decisive goal against Brazil in the 2014 World Cup.
In the end I’m happy that I was able to help,” said Füllkrug and warned to assess the weak performance in Oman “realistically”. “Everything was okay, it fulfilled its purpose,” said coach Flick mildly after the final whistle.
Instead of a World Cup rhythm, it was for the national coach in the well-filled Sultan Kabus Stadium in Muscat, where the 25,564 fans celebrated their team passionately animated by a lead singer, to get the latest insights. And despite the late winner, they were mostly negative.
In any case, the group opponents Japan, Spain and Costa Rica need not be too afraid of Germany. After moving into the Zulal Wellness Resort tournament quarters on Thursday, Flick still has a lot to do in the final sprint of the already short preparation. Another German starting eleven will play against Japan.
“We have to overcome our weaker self. Everyone who is on the field has to show that they are ready for the World Cup,” Flick had demanded before the only test of the very short World Cup preparation. In addition to international newcomer Moukoko four days before his 18th birthday, full-back Lukas Klostermann, who had been injured for a long time, was also allowed to play from the start. However, the Leipzig player only lasted half an hour, during which the lack of match practice was noticeable.
Stock errors and tuning problems
“We have enormous quality, the squad is really good,” confirmed Flick before kick-off on “RTL”. However, it took until the 16th minute before the experimental DFB selection threatened for the first time in front of the goal of the world number 75. showed up. Leon Goretzka’s pass found Kai Havertz in the penalty area, while Ibrahim al-Mukhaini saved the Omani goal.
Many stick errors and coordination problems made it difficult for the German team. With good organization and quick counterattacks, the hosts showed why they narrowly missed out on qualifying for the World Cup. It became threatening several times in front of Manuel Neuer, much to the delight of a loud Omani fan, who sent tinny cheers into the night sky via megaphone.
While the cheerleader had World Cup format, Flick’s protégés lacked the playful line and pace. Ilkay Gündogan tried to create a structured structure, but found few allusions. In the storm center Moukoko mostly lacked the connection, on the flanks there was not enough for a long time.
The national coach did not like that. Flick constantly stood at the front corner of his coaching zone, put his hands on his hips and watched the tough action with a skeptical eye. During the first drinking break, he then exchanged the visibly exhausted Klostermann for Armel Bella Kotchap.
The favorites did not manage to score a lead until the break. Al-Mukhaini deflected a hard-working Leroy Sané free-kick to the side with difficulty (31′). When David Raum, who had been pale until then, sent a good cross into Oman’s penalty area, Moukoko hit the ball against the post from close range (45+1). After the break, the young professional from Dortmund made way for the next debutant, the Bremen filling pitcher came into play as did Joshua Kimmich, Nico Schlotterbeck and Christian Günter. The Werder striker appeared free in front of the goal seven minutes after the restart, but was denied by Oman’s keeper. Al-Mukhaini also responded quickly to a header from Thilo Kehrer on the line (53′).
The German team now seemed more determined, more often looking for the end, but often acted too imprecisely. So the DFB selection could be happy that the substitute al-Ghassani did not hit the ball properly in front of Neuer. Ultimately, Füllkrug redeemed the Flick team. The 29-year-old shot the ball low into the Omani goal after fine preliminary work from Havertz. A second goal by the Werder striker was denied due to a narrow offside position.