This new beginning gives hope. The national team has improved against Peru – and the fans who were put off by the World Cup disaster can once again celebrate a real goalscorer.
The first step has been taken – mainly thanks to Niclas Füllkrug. With his first brace in the DFB jersey, the Bremen striker was instrumental in ensuring that the national team was able to give their fans a nice evening of football 114 days after the bitter World Cup defeat in Qatar in a 2-0 (2-0) win over Peru.
The renewed team of Hansi Flick with three debutants used around the dynamic Dortmund player Marius Wolf fulfilled the central requirements of the national coach in front of 25,358 spectators in the Mainz Arena: Led by captain Joshua Kimmich, it showed commitment, will, defensive stability and at least in the person of center forward Füllkrug (12./33. Minute) also the lack of efficiency at the World Cup tournament. The substitute and very dynamic Serge Gnabry spectacularly hit the crossbar after the break (60′), the playful Kai Havertz shot a penalty kick against the post (68′).
After all, the victory against the limited Peruvians was never in danger. Already on Tuesday there will be a showdown with a stronger opponent in Cologne on the way to the home European Championship 2024 against Belgium.
After two days of huge Bayern fuss about the coaches Julian Nagelsman and Thomas Tuchel Kimmich was the only Munich professional in the starting eleven – a rarity in the DFB selection. Flick’s personnel and tactical changes with Füllkrug and Timo Werner as the new dual leader paid off in the early stages.
The Bremen striker, who had just failed after a corner from the strong and often challenged Peruvian goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, scored after a strong assist from Havertz, who passed a long ball on with his chest in an exemplary manner. More presence in the penalty area and higher speed in attacking play were two of Flick’s requirements after the embarrassing end of the World Cup. “We want to see passion, want to see exciting football and conviction,” said the national coach shortly before kick-off on ZDF.
The fact that almost four months after the last World Cup group game against Costa Rica “not everything could work” was also made clear again and again. Here and there there was a lack of precision in the build-up of the game and, like the missed double chance of Florian Wirtz and Werner, who were injured during the World Cup, the last determination in front of the goal in the 20th minute. After the lead, the DFB selection seemed much more self-confident and determined. The new number one Marc-André ter Stegen in the German goal hardly had to intervene. The fans and the DFB leadership liked that.
The new sports director Rudi VoellerDFB President Bernd Neuendorf and DFL Supervisory Board Chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke followed the game side by side in the stands and were apparently in a good mood, as did Flick’s predecessor Joachim Löw was in the stadium. A “spark” should jump over to the fans, Neuendorf had said. However, the fans of the world number 21 were particularly loud in the sold-out Mainz Arena. to hear Peru. The filling jug goals in particular were celebrated by the German entourage.
Used by Havertz, the increasingly strong wolf, who had initially inserted himself with a bad pass (3rd), crossed into the penalty area – and Füllkrug ran where a goalscorer has to be and scored for the fifth time in the fifth international match. Völler, once a striker admired by the fans himself, smiled as the national team celebrated a goal. Füllkrug almost scored a hat-trick just before the break, but Luis Advíncula got in the way of Bremen’s shot (44′). Again Havertz was the initiator.
Flick made three changes in the second half, Leon Goretzka, Gnabry and Mario Götze came on for Emre Can, Werner and Wirtz. The other five newcomers in the DFB squad alongside Wolf initially had to be patient – Mergim Berisha and Kevin Schade only came for the final phase. Gnabry had to be treated for a longer time after a collision with Gallese shortly after the restart, the 27-year-old left the lawn with a nosebleed, but came back.
The DFB selection had lost some of the momentum of the first half at this point, the game suffered from many interruptions and discussions between both teams, including referee Maria Caputi. Gnabry’s sideways pull after Kimmich’s submission to the bar after an hour of play then raised hopes for more goals – which Havertz did not fulfill from the penalty spot. Nico Schlotterbeck took the penalty. The DFB selection continued to play for the third goal, but did not reward themselves again.
(Klaus BergmanArne Judge and Jan Mies, dpa)
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