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Oliver Kahn on Niclas Füllkrug’s Germany goal vs Spain: “A nice story football writes”

Oliver Kahn the football romantic. Who would’ve guessed?

Spain v Germany: Group E - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

Werder Bremen’s Niclas Füllkrug was Germany’s unlikely hero in their 1-1 draw with Spain in Al Khor, scoring a late goal that really bolsters Die Mannschaft’s chances of progressing to the round of 16 with one match left to go against Costa Rica. Up until making the decision to bring on the Bremen striker, Hansi Flick had gone with two separate starting lineups without a natural striker, using Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller as the most advanced attacker. When both Leroy Sane and Füllkrug entered proceedings against Spain, there was a noticeable difference in Germany’s attacking prowess, so there’s no a huge call for Flick to start Füllkrug against Costa Rica.

Much like the majority of German football fans, Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn wasn’t exactly expecting Füllkrug to be the savior on the night against Spain, but was very much appreciative of being able to see him provide a moment of magic. He was especially impressed by the way in which the Bremen man showed confidence in front of goal when the chance fell his way.

“It’s a nice story that football writes. The moment he came on, I thought to myself: who else would score? That’s football. That’s why I wasn’t very surprised,” Kahn said of Füllkrug’s equalizer in an interview with Sky Sports’ Florian Plettenberg (via @iMiaSanMia).

For the particular sequence that led to the goal, Jamal Musiala had done exceptionally well to turn his defender after Sane had found him in Spain’s box being tightly marked. Musiala took a touch to put the ball a few yards ahead of him and that’s when Füllkrug came in and took his hit well, giving Unai Simón little to no chance of saving it. Kahn was a big fan of the confidence Füllkrug showed to take it out of Musiala’s stride and have a hit himself. “What I liked was that he just took the ball away from Jamal Musiala - he said: Well, now let me do it and then he strikes it into the top corner. That shows his confidence. Of course, that gives us every chance now,” he explained.

Interested in a VERY in-depth review of Germany’s 1-1 draw with Spain? Then why not check out the latest episode of our podcast? We talk about everything from lineups, tactics, and individual performances, to a discussion about Bayern Munich at the World Cup overall. Listen to it below or on Spotify.

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