Niclas Füllkrug shoots the DFB team to 1-0 in Oman before the World Cup

AIt is Youssoufa Moukoko’s birthday this Sunday. The Borussia Dortmund striker turns 18. There won’t be a big party for him, which his contemporaries usually throw on this occasion. Because Moukoko is anything but an ordinary teenager. These days he is preparing with the German national soccer team for the World Cup in Qatar, which is just beginning on Moukoko’s day of honor.

Tobias Rabe

Responsible editor for Sport Online.

The very fact that he is in Hansi Flick’s squad seemed like an untimely gift that no money in the world can buy. Four days before his birthday, the national coach gave Moukoko further priceless moments by calling him into the starting XI. His debut in the national jersey lasted one half on Wednesday in the 1-0 friendly win over Oman. Just before the break, the attacker had his only noticeable scene when he took a cross in an exemplary manner and quickly completed it. The debutant’s ball only bounced off the post. Otherwise the game passed him. Flick’s judgment was mild about Moukoko’s youth: “Give him the time he needs.”

The performance of another newcomer, who was allowed to play in Moukoko’s place after half-time, was more mature: Niclas Füllkrug, the most successful German goalscorer in the Bundesliga this season and at 29 years old significantly older than Moukoko, found a gap in the defense of the Oman and scored the only goal in a game in the 80th minute that may not have increased the anticipation of the German fans for the world tournament in winter.

“Filling jug is ready for the World Cup”

In a muggy 28 degrees in the Sultan Qaboos Stadium in the capital Muscat in front of 25,564 spectators, Oman proved to be anything but a narrow-chested sparring partner, who even almost took the lead through Muhsen Al-Ghassani; he didn’t hit the ball properly in front of Manuel Neuer (72′). The fact that nothing more than a narrow German success jumped out was largely due to their own poor presentation. The first half in particular was characterized by many bad passes and few ideas.


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