Germany have won for the first time since their disappointing group stage exist from the World Cup in Russia, as a late Nico Schulz debut goal gave Die Mannschaft a 2-1 victory over Peru in Sinsheim. Former Hoffenheim player Luis Advincula (22’) had given the visitors the lead before Julian Brandt quickly responded for the hosts with his second goal for his country (25’). Germany went on to waste numerous chances after half-time before Schulz struck late one.
Joachim Löw, in his record-equalling 167th match in charge of Die Mannschaft, made five changes to the side that drew 0-0 with world champions France in the UEFA Nations League on Thursday. Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Antonio Rüdiger, Leon Goretzka and Thomas Müller all made way in the starting line-up, replaced by Marc-André ter Stegen, Niklas Süle, Ilkay Gündogan and goalscorer Julian Brandt respectively. Schulz started on his senior national team debut in his club’s home stadium.
Germany started the match on the front foot, creating the first chance of the match in the second minute through Marco Reus. A through ball from Gündogan sent the Dortmund attacker clear but he was denied by the head of Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese. The visitors, who also were knocked out of the World Cup at the group stage, were backed by ferocious support and took the game to Die Mannschaft. An open, fast game soon developed with the German defence coping with everything thrown at them.
Germany’s best chances were created down the right wing or from a corner. Toni Kroos delivered a corner which was met by Matthias Ginter but his header fell straight into Gallese’s hands (13’). In the 19th minute, after the Peruvian defence lost possession, Reus missed a chance in the centre following a cross from the right. The opening goal of the match came against the run of play from a Peru counter attack which right-back Advincula converted from a tight angle.
Germany didn’t let their heads drop after falling behind, responding within three minutes. Pressing from several players in the corner saw Germany gain possession in a promising position and after a series of passes, Brandt chipped the ball over the oncoming Gallese into the net from an acute angle.
After the two quick goals, both teams slowed the game down a little with Peru starting to sit back more often. Their lighting quick strikers quickly became isolated from the action. It also was tough to break down the Peruvian defence with a quick passing game. Timo Werner had a goal disallowed for offside in the 34th minute before Gündogan forced a good save out of Gallese (38’). Germany continued to use the flanks to wider the game and create more space and this lead to more chances for Die Mannschaft.
Löw made two changes at half-time, with Rüdiger and Julian Draxler coming on for Jerome Boateng and Reus, but it was the visitors who made the stronger start. Raul Ruidiaz got himself into a promising position but he couldn’t find the goal with Rüdiger providing pressure on the striker (48’). Five minutes later, ter Stegen was forced into action to deny Christian Cueva from a header (53’).
Germany then started to create more opportunities on the counter after Peru continued to sit back. Brandt sent Werner through on goal but the Leipzig forward, who was now leading the attack, wasted another chance following a good pass. At the other ends, Peru had a great chance to score through a Jefferson Farfan counter but his effort was blocked by Süle (57’).
With the exception of Werner’s chance, Germany were more static compared with the first half and the team didn’t create as many opening. On numerous occasions, Die Mannschaft couldn’t open up the Peru defence with a final clinical pass. The 2014 world champions started to gain the upper hand on the match again with around 20 minutes to go.
Thilo Kehrer came on in the 72nd minute to make his senior national team debut before Kai Havertz was introduced to the crowd in the 88th minute. The best chance, however, fell to fellow substitute Nils Petersen who couldn’t capitalize on Peru failing to clear the ball from their box (74’).
Draxler also went close with a shot from distance in the 80th minute. Nico Schulz then scored the winner just five minutes later as Gallese failed to deal with his timid shot and the ball crept in to give Germany the victory.