Oman 0 – 1 Germany: Initial reactions and observations

Initial feedback and observations:

  • Well, that was brutal. Germany’s World Cup campaign could hardly have started on a more uninspired note.
  • The signings fueled the rescue and Werder Bremen’s number 9 proves to be Germany’s hero. Is there any way Füllkrug won’t start against Japan?
  • We didn’t see Thomas Müller or Mario Götze today, except for a glimpse of a sullen Müller on the sidelines. This is an extremely long layoff for Müller, and perhaps it’s time to worry.
  • Flick will enter this tournament facing a lot of questions and the team will feel they have a lot to work on in the few remaining days of training.

Check out our post-game podcast for more game coverage!

90+3′ – Germany chance! What a pass it was from midfield by Julian Brandt to play Sané behind the Oman lines. However, Sané looks almost to miss the ball and crosses it. Such games should result in goals.

84′ – Almost a second! Same combination again, as Hofmann passes to Havertz, who fires in a superb shot from the right half. Füllkrug dives to pieces and is in the back of the net, but he’s offside.

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

76′ – Kevin de Bruyne makes a brilliant run forward that separates Schlotterbeck and Bella-Kotchap and feeds his team-mate behind the German defense from deep in midfield. Bella-Kotchap crashes down and comes dangerously close to conceding a penalty, but is still slightly offside.

(Edit: I’m told Kevin de Bruyne wasn’t playing for Oman, and Germany alone are making everyone look like world winners at the moment.)

The cooling off couldn’t have come at a better time.

72′ — Are you kidding me?! How Oman has not scored! Germany is fully open on holiday; Nico Schlotterbeck is caught on a switch in no-man’s land and the Omani easily feeds him inside from wing to center. A centre-forward has a wide-open shot at an open goal, but he gets his touch horribly wrong and deflects the cross wide, to the relief of Manuel Neuer.

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64′ – Germany under. This is interesting: BVB’s Julian Brandt comes into midfield for Manchester City’s Gündoğan, leaving CM Kimmich alone with any defensive sensibilities. Brandt and Havertz can function as 8 twins.

60′ – Chance Germany! Havertz slips in Jonas Hofmann, who plays a low cross into the Füllkrug almost latching onto it. At the end is a corner. It sure looks good with a 9 in there, doesn’t it?

56′ — OMAN shot! Thilo Kehrer turns inside and Oman breaks through to Manuel Neuer’s goal. Yes!

53′ — GERMANY’S CHANCE! An errant pass goes straight to Niclas Füllkrug in the box, and he hits it hard like a true No. 9. Sensational save – and then from the corner, another shot comes from Kehrer, which looks like it’s over the line! However, the game goes on.

In the replay, it is clear that the ball only went off the line. Super moment from the goalkeeper of Oman.

46′ – Too many changes in half! Füllkrug comes wearing the #9, as do Joshua Kimmich, Christian Günter and Nico Schlotterbeck in a series of similar changes. Moukoko, Goretzka, Raum and Ginter lead the way.

First Half Thoughts:

  • Of course, the Germans are not on full alert, but Oman is going from strength to strength.
  • Flick’s experimental formation is providing more questions than answers.
  • I’m ready to see Niclas Füllkrug for a whole 45′. In fact, I think it is necessary.

45+1′ — GERMANY CHANCE! Goretzka feeds Raum down the left wing and a spinning cross lands at the feet of Moukoko. The Dortmund youngster takes a nice shot; Goretzka hits the lead again, but this is also blocked.

43′ CHANCE OMAN! The hosts break dangerously, with Bella-Kotchap beaten one-on-one on the right flank of central defence. An attacker is in space in a shooting position but misses. Germany threatened but lost the ball to concede this counter.

41′ – Sane delivers a crisp, precise ball straight to CF on the half-circle, but Moukoko’s first touch lets him down again. Germany has a lot of trouble showing something.

38′ – For the second time in the last ten minutes, Gündoğan dribbles into the left half-space and tries to send the ball forward only for a short pass to be intercepted. The Germans are really out of sync.

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34′ – Germany under. Lukas Klostermann has already left (???) for Southampton’s exciting 20-year-old Armel Bella-Kotchap. It seems that Klostermann cannot continue, and this moves Thilo Kehrer to right back.

32′ – Cooling off for players. Accomodation with the climate is probably as important as anything else in this match.

26′ – Matthias Ginter fell after receiving a blow to the head. Leon Goretzka took some of the buzz out by blocking it from his backside, but Ginter still needs to make his way to the touchline and be assessed.

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 misses the mark. The Germans lack sharpness so far.

20′ – A ball from Oman evades Matthias Ginter in the center of defense and the home side break through – but extremely wasteful with their chance.

1′ – Start! We are developing! Or are we? That’s what the schedule says! Can someone with a stream tell us what these away shirts look like for the Germans. All eyes will be on 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko, who leads the line today.

One hour until departure: We have lineups! Hansi Flick provides a 4-2-3-1 with many regular starters on the bench. Looks like he’s experimenting today. If these players want to be in next week’s starting XI, they will need a good performance here. Germany does not need victory, only information.

There is just one week left until Germany kick off their 2022 World Cup campaign with an opening match 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’s configuration will be like when the actual important games take place. Unfortunately, he only has one Test game against Oman to figure 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, Hans knows these boys and they are the most talented stars Germany has right now. However, even within 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 has question marks hanging over him. This game against Oman should provide valuable insight.

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While you’re waiting for the game, why not check out our podcast? We analyzed all possible Hansi Flick lineup options and which would be the best. Listen below or on Spotify.

Match information

Location: Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat, Oman

Time: 9pm local time, 12am EST

TV/broadcast: Find your place

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