DHansi Flick did not like this sluggish World Cup dress rehearsal. In his huge coaching zone, the national coach walked up and down, sometimes stunned, sometimes angry. Then Niclas Füllkrug released him in the 80th minute with his late goal on his debut to make it 1-0 (0-0) in Oman. Exactly one week before the World Cup opening game against Japan, the national team, which was very mixed in terms of personnel, was unable to generate great World Cup optimism. The debut of young star Youssoufa Moukoko as the fourth youngest national player fizzled out quite ineffectively. The teenager was in the post bad luck at his greatest chance.
Füllkrug was more fortunate, who did exactly what Flick nominated him for – a late lucky punch. 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 a comeback from Rio hero Mario Götze.
“Everything was okay, it served its purpose. You can also have a bit of sympathy for the players that not everyone went into duels like that to avoid getting injured. In the second half our game was much better than in the first half. We want to let this game sink in, but nothing has changed that much,” said Flick.
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.
Klostermann’s lack of match practice was noticeable
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 pitch has to show that they are ready for the World Cup,” Flick had demanded before the only test of the ultra-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.
According to Flick, the unexpectedly early replacement of Klostermann had been discussed in advance. “That’s exactly how it was planned,” said the national coach. Before the game he had confirmed on RTL: “We have enormous quality, the squad is really good.” However, it took up to 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 Dortmund youngster 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 a flat ball into the Oman goal after fine preliminary work from Havertz. A second goal by the Werder striker was denied due to a narrow offside position.
Germany’s captain Manuel Neuer said: “We’re thinking about Japan now, we want to get the first three points. We know it will be a difficult task. The Omanis were a formidable opponent. It is important that we have a good remaining defense and are straightforward in attack.”