Leroy Sane and Timo Werner got the goals as Germany began the new era under Hansi Flick with a win over Liechtenstein in Group J of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
Liechtenstein 0-2 Germany
Goals: 0-1 Werner (41'), 0-2 Sane (77‘)
It was a dominant performance from start to finish for Flick's Germany, as they looked to take all three points from facing the side 173 places below them in FIFA’s World rankings. Germany quickly began to create chances with Joshua Kimmich forcing a save from Benjamin Büchel in the opening minutes before Werner had a shot saved from close range minutes later. Robin Gosens hit the crossbar with a header from Kimmich's delightful dink forward after 18 minutes, but then the chances dried up for Flick's side as Liechtenstein defended ever deeper. Gosens headed over from close range once more before the opening goal finally came with just four minutes to play before half-time. Jamal Musiala was the key as he dribbled past two defenders before sliding Werner in on goal, who neatly slotted the ball under Büchel for the first goal in the Flick era.
Germany picked up where they left off in the second with possession and territorial dominance of the game. Clear-cut chances were hard to come by, with Ilkay Gündogan’s shot from just inside the Liechtenstein area being blocked behind after 57 minutes. Marco Reus came on to make his international come back on the hour mark with Flick pushing his side on for more before time ran out. Werner should have done better with a header from close range on the end of Leroy Sane’s cross from the left with 15 minutes to play as Germany continued their search for more goals. Finally, a second goal came with 77 minutes played after fine individual work from Sane in the Liechtenstein area. In the final 10 minutes, Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz came on for his Germany debut as Flick picked up his first win as head coach with two more games to play during this international break against Armenia and Iceland.
- Flick becomes only the 11th Bundestrainer - head coach of the Germany national team - after spending eight years as assistant to Löw during his 15-year reign.
- Kimmich was Germany’s captain for the second time in his career but first in a competitive fixture.
- This was Germany's first game since the passing of Gerd Müller, who is second in their all-time scoring list behind Miroslav Klose with 68 goals. Thomas Müller is ninth on 39 goals, three behind Michael Ballack's 42.
- Florian Wirtz became the youngest player to score seven Bundesliga goals last weekend, aged 18 years, 3 months and 25 days. Just hours later, Musiala – who is just two and a half months older than Wirtz – became the second-youngest, dislodging Timo Werner.
- Only the group winners qualify automatically for the World Cup, which takes place in Qatar between 21 November and 18 December, 2022. The runners-up enter a play-off for the six remaining qualifying berths for European nations.
Liechtenstein: Büchel - S. Wolfinger (Yildiz 83'), Malin (Kollmann 83'), Kaufmann, Hofer, Göppel - N. Frick (Grünenfelder 71'), Frommelt, Hasler (c) - Sele (F. Wolfinger 61'), Y. Frick (Kardesoglu 71')
Unused subs: Hobi, Lo Russo, Spirig, Koller, Büchel, Ospelt
Coach: Martin Stocklasa
Germany: Leno - Baku (Hofmann 60'), Süle, Kehrer, Gosens - Gündogan (Goretzka 73'), Kimmich (c) (Wirtz 82') - Musiala (Reus 60'), Havertz (Gnabry 60'), Sane - Werner
Unused subs: Trapp, Rüdiger, Schlotterbeck, Adeyemi, Raum, Dahoud
Out: Müller (thigh), Neuer (hamstring)
Coach: Hansi Flick
As it happened!
End of second half
We're into three minutes of added time at the end of this game.
CHANCE FOR LIECHTENSTEIN!
Kardesoglu is on the end of Wolfinger's free-kick into the Germany area from the right and he glances a header just wide across goal. Leno had that one covered, but that was a good chance for the hosts.
KNOCK FOR GOSENS
Germany's left-back has taken a knock late on here and is limping to the sideline. He may need to come off for the final minutes as a precaution.
18-year-old Florian Wirtz is on for his senior debut for Germany, replacing captain Kimmich in the final 10 minutes. His family are even here for this huge moment in his young career. The captain's armband, meanwhile, is now with Reus.
SANE SMASHES HOME!
A fine finish from Sane makes it 2-0 to Germany. The Bayern winger is found in the hosts' area with bodies around him and does superbly to feint his way past a defender to be able to fire a low shot across goal, and Büchel has no chance with that one.
BIG CHANCE FOR WERNER!
It could certainly be 2-0 now after fine work from Sane on the left to work space for a cross. He fires the ball into the middle with pace and finds Werner all alone in front of goal, but he heads over the crossbar from close range. A big chance goes begging there for Werner.
Flick brings on Goretzka in midfield with Gündogan coming off for the final 15 minutes or so.
GOSENS SHOT BLOCKED!
Robin Gosens is on the end of Sane's pass across the edge and he fires a shot at goal with his right. It's heading for the back of the net with Büchel stranded, but Kaufmann makes a fine block with his head to put that ball behind.
SANE HEADS OVER!
The next chance goes begging for Germany as Hofmann's cross from the right is headed over by Sane in the middle. It must be said, Germany have yet to create many clear-cut chances in this second half.
Dortmund's captain is on to make his first appearance for Germany since a friendly against European qualifier against Estonia in October 2019.
It's a comeback for Marco Reus, who is on alongside Hofmann and Gnabry here midway through the second half.
Musiala finds space on the left and is found by Süle. He then slides Gosens in behind to the byline and his cut back comes to Gündogan in front of goal, but his effort from around 16 yards out is blocked behind.
Germany playing the ball from left to right and back again outside the Liechtenstein area as they go in search for holes in the hosts' defence. So far, it must be said, the home side have been fantastic in defence to keep this to just 1-0 as we continue into the second half.
BACK IN THEIR GROOVE
The ball has been in Germany's possession for almost all of this second half so far with Germany probing for more goals. Gosens fires in a cross from the left which meets Kimmich in the middle, but he can't angle his header on target.
WERNER'S TIDY FINISH FOR 1-0!
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No changes for either sides during half-time as we get back underway, with Germany looking to add to the scoring.
GÜNDOGAN FIRES WIDE
Another shot wide of goal from the Man City midfielder, who this time slides as he shoots wide across goal.
WERNER OPENS THE SCORING!
Germany finally have their first goal under Flick after 41 minutes. Germany fly forward with pace and it's Musiala who is the key. The 18-year-old dribbles past two before sliding a fantastic through-ball into the penalty area for Werner to chase. He reaches it ahead of Büchel and opens his body to slide the ball under the goalkeeper.
GÜNDOGAN FIRES OVER
Another cross comes into the middle from Baku on the right and Büchel goes to grab it in front of his own goal but drops it. Germany recover and the ball is laid off to Gündogan on the edge, but he fires over from 20 yards with his left foot.
GOSENS HEADS OVER!
Space opens up on the right and Kimmich slides Baku the ball to then cross. He floats the ball into the middle and Gosens leaps highest to reach it at the near post, but his header glances over the top.
LOOKING FOR SPACE
Germany's issue since the opening few minutes has been a lack of space to work with around the hosts' penalty area. The Liechtenstein defence is sat deeper in their own half, not allowing for creative flow from the German attack.
GERMANY LOOKING FOR MORE
Flick's side have managed just three shots on goal so far despite their possession. That comes from defensive strength from the hosts in central positions, but also a lack of a final pass or touch around the penalty area from Germany's attack.
DOMINATING THE BALL
Flick's side have had over 80% of the possession so far, but there's still no goal after 25 minutes here in St. Gallen. Flick looking to get his side bringing more energy into their build-up.
© Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Germany have been going down the flanks in search of their opening goal here, with Gosens and Baku heavily involved so far. Kimmich is orchestrating their attacks from midfield, but so far Liechtenstein's defence has coped well with the pressure.
GOSENS OFF THE BAR!
It's a fantastic floated ball forward from deep by Kimmich which almost unlocks the hosts' defence. He beats the backline and Gosens has made a run in behind. He heads at goal, but his effort clips the top of the crossbar on its way over.
THE TASK AT HAND
With Liechtenstein sat deep, Flick's side are going to have to find a way through a compact and defensively set up team this evening. With players such as Havertz, Sane and Musiala on the pitch, they have all the tools they need at their disposal.
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FINDING THEIR GROOVE
It's been a fine start for Germany who are - as expected - controlling this game in the early stages. Liechtenstein have lost all three of their qualifiers so far and, as a country with a population of just 83,000, should pose no real threat to Germany. But the goals need to start coming for Flick's side.
Germany piling on the pressure here as they work down the left once again. Sane's cross comes to Werner, who exchanges passes with Chelsea teammate Havertz before firing at goal from eight yards. Büchel makes another fine save before Baku's rebound to the right of goal is fired wide.
BIG CHANCE FOR KIMMICH!
And the captain almost gets the opening goal of the night as Sane is played in behind the Liechtenstein defence to the byline on the left. He cuts the ball back into the middle with Kimmich in space in front of goal, but his shot is well saved by Büchel from close range.
KIMMICH THE CAPTAIN
Bayern's midfielder is wearing the captain's armband tonight for the second time at senior international level. The previous time was two years ago in a friendly against Argentina.
A knock early on for Robin Gosens at left-back, after a high foot from Sele which caught him almost in the neck.
HERE WE GO!
The ball is rolling in St. Gallen for Germany's first international game under Hansi Flick.
TIME FOR THE ANTHEMS
Both sets of players are out on the pitch here in St. Gallen and ready to sing the national anthems. "Das Lied der Deutschen" being sung loud and proud by this Germany side, with plenty of Germany fans in attendance here in Switzerland.
RULES OF QUALFYING
Only the group winners qualify automatically for the World Cup, which takes place in Qatar between 21 November and 18 December, 2022. The runners-up enter a play-off for the six remaining qualifying berths for European nations. Therefore, points need to be put on the board as quickly as possible for Germany.
HISTORY IN THE U21S
Elsewhere tonight, Germany's U21 team have begun their qualifying for the next European Championships against San Marino. Germany lead 5-0 heading into the second half, and history was made with the kick-off. Dortmund's Youssoufa Moukoko started for Germany and, in doing so, became the youngest player ever to represent Germany's U21s. The first 16-year-old ever scored twice in the first half and will be looking to complete a hat-trick on debut at that level in the second half.
STORY SO FAR IN GROUP J!
With three games played in qualifying, Germany sit third in Group J with two wins and one defeat so far. Those games, of course, came with now former head coach Joachim Löw still in charge. A 3-0 win over Iceland was followed with a 1-0 win over Romania before a shock defeat came in March as Germany fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of North Macedonia. With three qualifiers coming up over the next week, Flick has the perfect chance to get Germany back on track in qualifying.
GERMANY TEAM NEWS
Members of Flick's former club Bayern are set to form the backbone of the team, starting with captain Neuer in goal and Süle at the heart of the defence. Neuer won't play in this first game, however, as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Kimmich starts in midfield, but Müller has had to leave the squad due to a thigh injury. Flick has opted for the man whose career he launched with the record champions, with Musiala last weekend becoming the second-youngest player in Bundesliga history to reach seven goals. With three games in the space of a week, the new coach is likely to rotate between matches, but making a strong start is his priority and his first team selection as Germany head coach reflects that.
WATCH: THE STORY OF FLICK'S FINAL SUCCESS CHAPTER AT BAYERN
LIECHTENSTEIN STARTING XI!
Büchel - Wolfinger, Malin, Kaufmann, Hofer, Göppel - N. Frick, Frommelt, Hasler (c) - Sele, Y. Frick
Hobi, Lo Russo, Grünenfelder, Spirig, Kardesoglu, Koller, Büchel, Kollmann, Yildiz, Wolfinger, Ospelt
GERMANY STARTING XI!
Leno - Baku, Süle, Kehrer, Gosens - Gündogan, Kimmich (c) - Musiala, Havertz, Sane - Werner
Trapp, Rüdiger, Schlotterbeck, Goretzka, Gnabry, Reus, Adeyemi, Wirtz, Raum, Dahoud, Hofmann
Welcome to bundesliga.com's coverage of Germany's fourth 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match, and the first under the new stewardship of Hansi Flick.