While the matchup on paper between Germany and Liechtenstein might not have been the most competitively slated, Die Mannschaft got the Hansi Flick era off to a winning start with a 2-0 win at the AFG Arena in St. Gallen, Switzerland. A late first half goal from Timo Werner and a 77th minute strike from Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sane sealed the deal for Germany on what could’ve been a score line of a much higher margin for Flick’s side had it not been for a courageous display from Liechtenstein keeper Benjamin Büchel.
As expected, Liechtenstein came out with a resolute, deep-lying defensive block in an effort to try and frustrate Germany and stifle their fluid movement in the attacking third led by Werner, Sane, Jamal Musiala and Kai Havertz from the offset. While Die Mannschaft did find it hard, at times, to break down a well disciplined Liechtenstein side, they did have a bulk of chances in either half, and speaking after the match, Flick said there easily could’ve been more goals from his side had the finishing been a bit better. “They defended well. We would have liked to have scored a few more goals. We created chances, but we cannot take it for granted that we will score goals. We have to work on that. We have to try to keep up the pace and to force the opponent to make mistakes,” he assessed speaking to RTL (via @iMiaSanMia on Twitter.)
Flick: "They defended well. We would have liked to have scored a few more goals. We created chances, but we cannot take it for granted that we will score goals. We have to work on that. We have to try to keep up the pace and to force the opponent to make mistakes." #LIEGER pic.twitter.com/IeNluXs7iq— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) September 2, 2021
It take a good while in the first half for Germany to start to find and create holes in Liechtenstein's deeper blocks, but once the chances started coming, Benjamin Büchel was kept very busy and really had to muster a bevy of decent saves to keep his side in it. Joshua Kimmich, Werner, and Robin Gosens all had decent chances in the first half before Werner eventually broke the deadlock five minutes before the halftime break. The proverbial floodgates started to open a bit more in the second half and Germany probably should’ve made Liechtenstein pay more than just Sane’s goal, but Flick was still pleased overall with the three points. “I see things positively, ultimately we won the game. Every beginning is not always easy. We want to play differently against Armenia on Sunday. We have to score more goals,” he stressed.
Specifically, he felt that the first goal should’ve come much earlier, which likely would’ve created a more relaxed feel to Germany’s overall play for the remainder of proceedings. In all honesty, they should’ve put the match to bed far sooner than they did, but Flick feels that a lot of that had to do with not scoring their first goal until the 40th minute through Werner. “It took us too long to score the first goal, but it’s also a process. This first game will not cause any uncertainties for me. We have a long way to go and we’ll go through it together,” Flick emphasized.