2-0 against Peru: exit from winter depression

WITHHas the mood changed? Ten minutes before the final whistle, wave after wave suddenly swept through the stands of the Mainz stadium, and the spectators were clearly enjoying this football evening. Beautiful minutes, of course, also for the German national team. However, no one should have believed that it was possible to regain lost sympathies forever. You can also say: One wave does not make summer. Because the overall picture of Saturday evening included the fact that the mood for a long time was mainly on the side of the opponent from Peru.

At least Hansi Flick’s team played their part in the project to win back the hearts of the audience, a 2-0 win was the result of an energetic game before half-time and then a slightly more economical game of a team that first had to want to find itself. The first step has been taken, but after this first game after the great winter depression one cannot yet tell how far the road is.

Flick and his team intended to leave behind the disastrous World Cup in Qatar. A visible sign was the black-red-gold captain’s armband that Joshua Kimmich wore on his arm, a self-imposed depoliticization after the trials and tribulations of a copy of One Love. The Internationals also verbally announced that from now on (again) victories are their mission, and not signals or symbols of any kind. In this regard, one could say on Saturday evening: Mission accomplished.

In one – desirable – respect, the Germans continued exactly where they left off in Qatar. One man jumping on the World Cup train at the last moment was primarily responsible for the risk of heads and heads. In Mainz, however, Niklas Fülkrug played in such a self-evident way that he became indispensable, including a mental game about what would be possible in Qatar if Flick had already cast him in that role. The Werder striker scored four and five goals (12th and 33rd minutes) in his fifth international match.

Kimmich with Can in the engine room

As announced, Flick was counting on a double advantage in the match against Peru, in addition to the Fulkrug, Timo Werner, a player of a completely different type, should pose a goal threat. Behind them, in the space between creative possibilities, stood Kai Havertz and Florian Wirtz. In the engine room, the national coach placed Munich’s Joshua Kimmich next to Dortmund’s Emre Can, the Bayern-Borussen bloc, who will face each other again next weekend at the Bundesliga summit.

Flick also highlighted the fact that he enjoyed Dortmund’s angularity in these weeks as he helped Marius Wolf make his debut on the right flank. Not much time has been played, as Wolf and Can have already quite decisively defeated the opponent.

Not perfection, but commitment

Even if Wolf was the only complete rookie, the audience in Mainz saw a German team with a completely different profile in every way. Before the match, the national coach said that he was not looking for perfection, but for passion. And what his players showed was purposeful – and at the same time very inspired. Not in the sense that the Germans came up with combinations on the Mainz lawn, but due to the skillful play of offsets, they repeatedly created quite interesting spaces, often on the right side, where Wolf made a lot of noise.

Havertz was a free man in front of the first goal, a long ball from Schlotterbeck reached him in the penalty area, where Havertz seemed a little unsure what to do, but Fühlkrug was there and made the decision for him.

Werner tried very hard, filling the jug with flair

Keyword Füllkrug: It was a game with two strikers, but also with two different striker histories. While Werner kept writing a bit unfavorable to him – trying to find the key word, but without success – Füllkrug delivered a nice sequel. In the 20th minute, it was almost more difficult for Wirtz and Werner not to score the ball into the goal after Wolf’s cross, despite the excellent save of Pedro Gallese. A good half hour later, Füllkrug showed how it was done. Wolf fired again and Füllkrug was a man with an unerring sense of the moment, a touch in front of the offside line was enough for him to score.

2-0, which contributed to a good mood in the stands, which could have been even better if the Germans put up an encore before the break. There were chances for Werner, who clearly missed from a tight angle, and then for Fülkrug, whose shot blocked Advinkul. However: there was nothing to complain about in this first half and the defense in which Ginter and Raum defended alongside Wolf and Schlotterbeck was pretty much solid, Marc-André ter Stegen didn’t get a chance to score, but his swing passes the game made an impression.

After the break, Werner, Wirtz and Can were replaced by Serge Gnabry, Mario Götze and Leon Goretzka. This did not change anything in the structure of the German team, although the stamina seemed to have waned a bit. There were still moments, such as Gnabry’s lateral dash into the crossbar after Kimmich’s pass (59th), or of course the penalty, which was due to a foul on Schlotterbeck, however, only after the intervention of a video assistant.

However, Havertz put this opportunity in the right position, he was not allowed to make an additional throw (68th). For Havertz and Fülkrug, the evening ended after 75 minutes, with debutants Kevin Schade and Mergim Berisha taking the stage instead. Gnabry (82nd) ​​missed the last good opportunity. While the public was hyping, little was happening on the lawn.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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