Oman 0 – 1 Germany: Initial reactions and observations

Initial reactions and observations:

  • Well, that was brutal. Germany’s World Cup campaign could hardly have started on a more uninspired note.
  • Subs pulled off the save, and Werder Bremen’s number 9 proved to be Germany’s hero. Is there any way Füllkrug can’t start against Japan?
  • We didn’t see Thomas Müller or Mario Götze today, except for a glimpse of a restless Müller on the sidelines. That’s a very long denial for Mueller, and maybe it’s time to get concerned.
  • Flick will enter the tournament with a lot of questions, and the team will feel that they have so much to work on in the few days of training.

Check out our podcast podcast for more coverage of the game!

90+3′ – Germany’s chance! What a pass from midfield by Julian Brandt to play Sané behind the Oman lines. Sané seems to almost trip on the ball, though, and makes a hash of his cross. Plays like this should result in goals.

84 – almost a second! The same combination again, as Hofmann goes to Havertz, who fires an excellent shot from the right half-court. Füllkrug pounces on the pieces and it’s in the back of the net, but he’s ruled off-side.

80′ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAL Germany! Jonas Hofmann sprays a ball forward for Kai Havertz, who drives into the box and calmly slides into Füllkrug to his left. The striker makes absolutely no mistake, and buries it home for Germany’s advantage.

76′ – Kevin de Bruyne spots a brilliant forward run that splits Schlotterbeck and Bella-Kotchap, and feeds his teammate in behind the German defense from deep in midfield. Bela-Kochap creates himself and comes dangerously close to giving away a penalty, but it’s narrowly missed anyway.

(Edit: I’ve been told that Kevin De Bruyne hasn’t played for Oman, and it’s just that Germany are looking like world-beaters at the moment.)

Cooling break couldn’t come at a better time.

72′ – Are you kidding me?! How did Oman not score! Germany is completely cut up on the break; Nico Schlatterbeck is caught by a switch in no man’s land and Oman easily feeds it inside from wing to centre. A centre-forward has a wide-open shot at a wide-open goal, but he gets his touch horribly wrong and deflects the cross wide, to Manuel Neuer’s relief.

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64′ – Germany Sub. This is interesting: BVB’s Julian Brandt comes into midfield for Manchester City’s Gündoğan, leaving Kimmich the one centimeter with no defensive sensibility. Brandt and Havertz could function as twin 8s.

60′ – Germany’s chance! Havertz slides in Jonas Hofmann, who plays a low cross that Füllkrug nearly latches onto. At the end there is a corner. Sure looks good with a 9 there, no?

56′ – Oman shot! Thilo Kehrer is turned inside and Oman drives into Manuel Neuer’s goal. Yikes!

53 – Chance Germany! An unusual back pass goes straight to Niklas Fulkrug in the box, and he hits it with power like a true No. 9. Sensational save – and then off the corner, another shot comes from Kehrer that looks like it went over the bar. Angle. Line! Game on, though.

On replays, it is clear that the ball was cleared just off the line. Super moment from the Oman keeper.

46′ – Many changes in the half! Füllkrug comes to wear the #9, like Joshua Kimmich, Christian Günter and Nico Schlotterbeck in a series of like-for-like changes. Mococo, Goretzka, Ram and Gunter make way.

Half-time thoughts:

  • The Germans are clearly not at full speed, clearly, but Oman is going toe to toe.
  • Flick’s experimental line-up offers more questions than answers.
  • I’m ready to see Niklas Fulkrug for a full 45′. In fact, I think it is imperative.

45+1′ – Chance Germany! Goretzka feeds Ram down the left flank and a looping cross lands at Mokoko’s feet. The youngster from Dortmund gets in a nice shot; Goretzka hits it again on the steam, but it is also blocked.

43′ CHANCE OMAN! The home side break dangerously, with Bella-Kotchap beaten one-on-one on the right side of central defence. A forward is found in space in a shooting position but misses. Germany was threatening but lost the ball to give the counter.

41′ – Sané Delivers a crisp and accurate ball right into the CF on the half-circle, but Mokoko’s first touch lets him down again. Germany has a lot of trouble showing something.

38′ – For the second time in the last ten-odd minutes, Gündoğan dribbles through the left half court and tries to feed the ball forward only for a short pass to be intercepted. The Germans are Indeed Out of sync.

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34′ – Germany Sub. Lukas Klostermann has already left (???) for Southampton’s exciting 20-year-old, Armel Bella-Kotchap. It looks like Klostermann can’t continue, and that shifts Thilo Kehrer to right-back.

32′ – Cooling break for the players. Acclaim to the climate is probably as important as anything else in this match.

26′ – Matthias Günter went down after taking a shot to the head. Leon Goretzka took a bit off the seat by locking up his, well, butt, but Gitter still has to make his way to the sidelines and assess himself.

22′ – Germany win the ball back and Kai Havertz is in a dangerous position to pull the strings. He tries a slightly bold switch that falls short of the mark. The Germans lack crispness so far.

20′ – A ball over the top from Oman eludes Matthias Ginter in central defense and the home side are through – but extraordinarily wasteful with their chance.

1′ – Back up! We are under! Or are we? The plan says so! Someone who has a stream can tell us how this away jersey looks like for the Germans. All eyes will be on 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko, who leads the line today.

One hour until the start: We have lineups! Hansi Flick fielded a 4-2-3-1 with many regular starters benched. Looks like he’s experimenting today. If these players want to be in the starting XI come next week, they will need a good performance here. Germany don’t need a win, they just need information.

There is just a week left until Germany begin their 2022 World Cup campaign with an opener against Japan. Hansi Flick has a lot of work to do – he needs to find his best XI, he needs to get his players up to speed, and he needs to finalize what the team set-up will be when the really important games come. Unfortunately, he only has one test match against Oman to figure some things out, which makes this game all the more important.

Most people expect the Bayern Munich contingent to dominate the German XI, and that will undoubtedly be the case. As their former coach, Hansi knows these guys, and they are the most talented stars Germany has right now. However, even in the Bayern set-up, there are questions about Thomas Muller’s fitness, Leroy Sane’s current form and more. Meanwhile, the rest of the team have question marks hanging over him. The game against Oman should provide valuable insight.

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While you wait for the game, why not check out our podcast? We analyzed all the potential lineup options of Hansi Flick and which would be the best. Listen to it below or on Spotify.

Match information

Location: Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat, Oman

Time: 9:00 PM local time, 12:00 PM EST

TV/Streaming: Find your country

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