The German national soccer team completed their promised restart with a lackluster victory. Three months after the debacle at the World Cup in Qatar, Hansi Flick’s selection again missed too many of their numerous scoring chances in the 2-0 (2-0) win against Peru.
In the sold-out Mainz stadium, Werder Bremen’s Niclas Füllkrug scored a brace in his first start for Germany before the break (12′, 33′).
“I’m pleased that we were able to secure a comfortable victory,” said the Bremen attacker, who scored his fourth and fifth goal in his fifth international match. “You could see that the team played with a lot of dynamism. A lot was good, even if not at 100 percent. But you couldn’t expect that. We haven’t trained much yet. We played to zero. And that was also one of our focal points this week,” analyzed Flick, who explicitly praised Füllkrug: “Niclas is a player who is special and gives the team a lot. He’s there for goals and he scored them.”
Unfortunately not others. It became clear again and again that just under four months after the last World Cup group game against Costa Rica, things were still not going well. Here and there the precision in the build-up of the game was missing and as with the missed double chance of the absent returnees Florian Wirtz and Timo Werner in the 20th minute, the last determination in front of the goal. 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 Völler, DFB 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, and Flick’s predecessor Joachim Löw was also 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.
After a few more missed chances in the first half, Kai Havertz had a great chance to make it 3-0 after just over an hour, but the Chelsea striker only hit the post with his penalty (68′). Nico Schlotterbeck had previously been fouled in the penalty area.
The Peruvians, who started with an average age of 29.5 years, became much bolder in the second half and also increased their aggressiveness, while the Flick team lost their line and dropped significantly. However, the game also suffered from many interruptions and discussions between both teams with referee Maria Caputi.
“I think we started the first half quite well. We had chances to score more goals. The second half was a bit torn up. We might have to play a little more calmly so that we can keep control there,” said captain Joshua Kimmich.
At the start of 2023, the national coach ordered newcomer Marius Wolf and returnee Emre Can into the starting XI. With Schlotterbeck, he even offered a third professional from Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund. Record champion FC Bayern Munich, on the other hand, was only represented by midfielder Kimmich at kick-off. Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka came on after the half-time break. Later, Kevin Schade from FC Brentford and Augsburg’s Mergim Berisha also made their debuts.
“We played a good game, especially in the first half. We changed things a bit in the second half, we wanted to do more with midfield pressing. After what happened, it’s important that we got off to a good start. I’m happy,” said goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen, who flawlessly replaced the injured Manuel Neuer between the posts.