Germany defeated Liechtenstein 2-0 in St. Gallen on Hansi Flick’s first game in charge of the national team to record their third win of the current World Cup qualification campaign.
Timo Werner (41’) and Leroy Sané (71’) scored the only goals of the game. Next up for Germany is Armenia in Stuttgart on Sunday (kickoff: 20:45 CEST), before traveling to Reykjavík to take on Iceland the following Wednesday (kickoff: 20:45 CEST).
Flick named European U21 champion Ridle Baku in the starting XI. Bernd Leno, replaced the injured Manuel Neuer in goal, behind a back four of Thilo Kehrer, Niklas Süle Robin Gosens and Baku. In central midfield, stand-in captain Joshua Kimmich, playing his 60th international match, partnered Ilkay Gündogan, who was making his 50th appearance for his country. In attack, Leroy Sané, Kai Havertz, and debutant Jamal Musiala supported Timo Werner up front.
As expected, Germany quickly established themselves as the dominant side and created two good chances in the opening seven minutes. Kimmich combined well with Havertz and Sané before his shot was saved by Liechtenstein goalkeeper Benjamin Büchel (4’), before Werner also saw his effort dealt with by the home goalkeeper (7’).
Liechtenstein sat deep in defence, preventing Germany from linking up in the final third. Gosens came the closest to opening the scoring in the opening half han hour, seeing his header hit the post after a nice chip ball from Kimmich.
With combination play not quite coming off so far, Musiala seized the initiative and drove forward on a solor run, before cleverly slipping the ball through to Werner, who finished one-on-one to break the deadlock (41’).
After the break, it was a similar picture with Germany finding it difficult to break down the home side’s deep block. In the 57th minute, Gündogan’s shot was cleared for a corner, from which the Man City man missed his chance to double the lead.
On the hour mark, Flick made his first changes of the game with a triple substitution. Jonas Hofmann, Serge Gnabry and returnee Marco Reus were introduced. Despite the fresh imulse, Liechtenstein continued to defend passionately and managed to hold off the Germany attacks. Eventually, a individual show of brilliance from Leroy Sané doubled the lead for Flick’s men with just under a quarter of an hour remaining.
With the game drawing to an end, Flick handed a debut to European U21 winner Florian Wirtz, bringing the Leverkusen man into the game in place of captain Kimmich.