They made significantly hard work of it in the end, but Germany was able to grind out a 1-0 friendly victory over Oman in Muscat thanks to a late goal from Werder Bremen’s Niclas Füllkrug in the 80th minute of play. It was a finely-taken left-footed finish after a short range pass from Chelsea’s Kai Havertz just inside of Oman’s box, saving what would've been a rather disappointing result had Germany not found the winner.
It was Hansi Flick’s last chance to look at different players and try different things before Die Mannschaft’s opening group stage match of the World Cup in Qatar next week against Japan. He chose to field a mix of experienced and young players in his XI, and the results showed signs of a system still revving up to speed.
Flick spoke after the match about how the challenges Germany faced.
“We had some problems in the first half, Oman attacked incredibly well, very fast with technically strong players,” he explained (Tz). “But it was a friendly match, a step towards the World Cup opener against Japan. We were able to get used to the temperatures, all good.”
While Flick noted the team’s need to avoid injuries as well, his comments pointed to a clear area of needs improvement.
“I’m not happy with the way we defended — we can’t play like that at the World Cup. We need more physicality,” he emphasized. “I expect a different kind of toughness [in Qatar]. Giving away one-on-one situations so easily must not happen.”
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