Niclas Füllkrug scores debut goal as Germany edge Oman in World Cup warm-up
Niclas Füllkrug scored on his Germany debut and Youssoufa Moukoko made his senior international bow as Germany scraped a win over Oman in their final game before the 2022 World Cup.
Oman 0-1 Germany
Goals: 0-1 Füllkrug 80' (assist: Havertz)
Called up to the Germany squad for the first time ahead of the World Cup, Moukoko was thrown straight into a somewhat experimental starting line-up in Muscat. The 17-year-old Borussia Dortmund striker had a well-drilled Oman defence to contend with as Hansi Flick's team controlled the play for long periods, albeit only sporadically threatening the opposition goal. Kai Havertz combined with Bayern Munich's Leon Goretzka for Germany's first chance of note, but was foiled inside the box by the goalkeeper. Leroy Sane then blazed over, before testing Ibrahim Al-Mukhaini's reflexes with a well-struck shot from 18 yards. Moukoko had the best chance of the half in stoppage time, but could only turn David Raum's left-wing cross against the upright from close range.
Despite an encouraging showing, Moukoko was one of four half-time changes. His replacement Füllkrug was straight into the thick of the action, going within a whisker of turning fellow substitute Christian Günter's cross goalwards. Ilkay Gündogan and Füllkrug forced Al-Mukhaini into a pair of quick-fire saves, the latter forcing a corner. The resultant delivery found Thilo Keher, whose 10-yard strike was met by the goalkeeper's outstretched boot. Sane and substitute Julian Brandt were off target with speculative efforts, before Germany broke Oman's stubborn resistance. With 80 minutes on the clock, Havertz teed up Füllkrug for an unerring finish from inside the area. The Werder Bremen man thought he'd doubled his and his country's tally moments later, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
Germany begin their World Cup campaign against Japan on 23 November. They will also face Spain and Costa Rica in Group E.
Füllkrug, who scored eight times for Germany's U19s and 20s, added to his 10 goals for Bremen this season.
At 17 years and 361 days old, Moukoko is Germany's youngest debutant since Uwe Seeler in 1954 (17 years and 345 days).
An unused substitute against Oman, Mario Götze made his last Germany appearance in a November 2017 friendly draw with France, registering an assist. He scored his last of 17 international goals to date in a March 2016 friendly win over Italy.
Flick has won 10 of 16 matches as Germany coach, drawing five and losing one.
The current Germany coach was Joachim Löw's assistant at the triumphant 2014 World Cup.
Friendly World Cup warm-up match World Cup warm-up match Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex
The Bremen striker's debut goal sends Germany to the World Cup on a winning note. Will he start when they open their Group E campaign against Japan? Plenty of questions for Flick to address in the week ahead...
TIME ADDED ON
Four additional minutes. Füllkrug is the big winner of this one...
Havertz and Füllkrug combine again. It's another stonking finish, but the flag's up for offside.
That's how to finish! Havertz drives into the area and feeds Füllkrug, who sweeps in his first Germany goal. Clinical from the Werder man! Do Germany have a new No.9...?
Al-Ghassani with another big chance, but he dallies in front of Neuer and Bella Kotchap is able to clear.
Germany are almost undone as Al-Aghbari spies Al-Yahmadi on the right wing. His cross finds the unmarked Al-Ghassani in the six-yard box - but the Oman midfielder can only hit the side netting. Will that be the wake-up call Germany need?
BRANDT ALL FIRED UP
Brandt's first meaningful contribution is to ping a low shot wide. The Dortmund midfielder scored his fifth goal of the season at the weekend, and also has three assists.
Sane with a mazy dribble and shot that doesn't trouble the goalkeeper. After that bright start, Germany have hit an Omani wall again.
Oman respond through Al-Aghbari, who gets the better of Bell Kotchap before seeing his shot blocked by Schlotterbeck. Superb covering by the Dortmund man, who will be pushing to start against Japan next week.
The Germany sub pounces on a mistake in the Oman rearguard, before firing a shot goalwards that Al-Mukhaini does well to tip over. Kehrer connects with the enusing corner, forcing the goalkeeper into a smart save with his outstretched foot.
Here come Germany again as Sane lets Hofmann's pass run for Gündogan. He takes aim from 18 yards, but Al-Mukhaini gets behind it.
Füllkrug is a whisker away from getting a touch to Günter's probing cross into the six-yard box. This is what it's like to see Germany with a target man!
Füllkrug replaces fellow debutant Moukoko. The Bremen forward is one of four half-time changes - will his domestic form translate onto the international stage?
The players stop to take on fluids. That'll be a common sight in Qatar. It's hovering around 30C in Muscat today.
He takes the bull by the horns again, this time forcing the goalkeeper to parry behind for a corner. The Bayern man really got hold of that!
Germany continue to enjoy the lion's share of possession, albeit without seriously testing the Oman defence. It's a useful exercise for Flick, who has a number of likely World Cup starters on the subs' bench.
Oman have clearly set up to park the bus and play on the counter. Al-Subhi has a go following once such break, but is off target with his shot.
Goretzka's beginning to pull the strings as he feeds club-mate Sane. The Bayern forward advances with the ball at his feet, before pinging a shot over the crossbar from 18 yards.
Germany's best opening yet as ex-Leverkusen man Havertz plays a neat one-two with Bayern's Goretzka. The shot's on from inside the area, but Al-Mukhaini makes a fine block.
Raum finds the feet of Moukoko in the box, but the teenager's first touch lets him down and the chance is gone. Right idea - just not the desired execution.
CAT AND MOUSE
Germany are some 64 places above Oman in the FIFA world rankings, and it shows. The four-time world champions are in complete control.
Neuer gets a first touch after a Germany attack breaks down. "He's an important sounding block and someone who has a lot of experience," Flick said of his captain prior to the game. "For me, he's still the number one [goalkeeper] in the world."
AWAY WE GO!
Germany kick-off the first half in Muscat. Massive game for young Moukoko. You can bet your bottom dollar he'll deliver...
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
Germany are in their change strip of black, red and gold. Flick isn't giving too much away with his starting line-up. Will Moukoko and Füllkrug play their way into contention for the central striker's berth that would most likely have been occupied by the injured Timo Werner?
WATCH: ALL SYSTEMS GÖTZE
Götze is in line to make his first Germany appearance since November 2017. The 2014 World Cup final-winning hero has battled health issues in recent years, but earned a move back to the Bundesliga this summer after rediscovering his best form with PSV Eindhoven. He's since been in flying form for Eintracht Frankfurt, helping the Eagles climb to fourth in the Bundesliga standings. "Mario has a lot of minutes under his belt. We will think about exactly what we do with him," said Flick, who was Germany assistant when Götze came off the bench to score in extra time of the 2014 final against Argentina. "He has enormous quality in the final third and is a player who has a very good first touch. I think he's figured out his game. He has matured a lot and I'm pleased that he is here with us because he has proved what a brilliant footballer he is."
WATCH: THE FÜLLKRUG FACTOR
Füllkrüg is the highest-scoring German in this season's Bundesliga with 10 goals. His reward is a maiden call-up, at the age of 29. "The boys have really accepted me," the Bremen striker said earlier this week. "I'm happy to be a part of all of it. I want to be successful with the boys. What my job will be remains to be seen. You need to be at 100 percent regardless. I will try to be ready."
"The World Cup has different standards in terms of preparation," Flick said in his pre-match press conference. "You have to work a bit differently. We have to see who needs minutes and who needs a break. We want everyone to be at the same level if possible, when we get down to it. It may well be that we rest one or two players [against Oman]."
WATCH: MOUKOKO MAGIC
Moukoko is the Bundesliga's youngest debutant, scorer and player to reach double figures for goals. He's struck six times in all competitions for BVB this season, and weighed in with as many assists.
Youssoufa Moukoko is handed his senior international debut. Aged 17 years and 361 days, the Borussia Dortmund prodigy becomes Germany's greenest debutant since Uwe Seeler (17 years and 345 days) in 1954. Hansi Flick also gives Lukas Klostermann some welcome minutes, the RB Leipzig defender having been sidelined for the majority of the 2022/23 campaign through injury. Expected to start at the finals, Niklas Süle, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich and Jamal Musiala are on the bench alongside the returning Mario Götze and uncapped Werder Bremen striker Niclas Füllkrug.