Germany 9-0 Liechtenstein: Flick makes history in crushing victory

Hansi Flick became the first Germany head coach to win his first six matches in charge after his side crushed Liechtenstein 9-0 in World Cup qualifying Group J on Thursday. 

The former Bayern Munich boss kicked off his reign with a 2-0 win over these opponents in September and always looked like taking the outright record from Joachim Low following Ilkay Gundogan’s early penalty, given for a foul which saw a red card issued to Jens Hofer.

Die Mannschaft, whose progress to next year’s World Cup in Qatar had already been secured before the game in Wolfsburg, took full advantage of their numerical superiority, racing into a 4-0 half-time lead thanks to a Daniel Kaufmann own goal and strikes from Leroy Sane and Marco Reus. 

Sane added a fifth early in the second period, while a brace from Thomas Muller, a fine Ridle Baku strike and an own goal from Maximilian Goppel sealed a resounding win late on.

Gundogan stroked home from the penalty spot in the 11th minute after Hofer had kicked Leon Goretzka in the throat – an eye-watering challenge that resulted in the defender’s dismissal.

Kaufmann prodded into his own net from Christian Gunter’s low cross nine minutes later to double Germany’s advantage, before Sane coolly slid past Benjamin Buchel after being played in by Goretzka.

Reus then scored a third goal in the space of just three minutes and 31 seconds, the Borussia Dortmund man slotting in after Buchel had made a mess of a deep cross.

Germany picked up where they left off at the start of the second period, Sane claiming his second with a scuffed shot from 10 yards in the 49th minute.

Muller scored with two close-range finishes either side of a superb Baku effort, while the unfortunate Goppel headed into his own net to wrap up the scoring in the 89th minute.

What does it mean? Flick rewarded for faith in old guard

With 178 places separating the two sides in the world rankings, no one would have questioned Flick had he opted to field some of his less experienced players against Liechtenstein.

As it was, he selected Germany’s oldest starting XI (29 years and 11 days) since their first game of Euro 2000 against Romania (30 years and 86 days). Given that level of experience and quality, it was hardly a surprise to see them blow their opponents away.

Sane shines

Sane was in electric form before his 64th-minute substitution. The Bayern Munich winger scored twice from a joint-high seven shots and made three key passes as Germany ran riot.

Baku looks at home

Baku made quite the impact on just his third international start. He scored his first goal for his country with a sumptuous, curled strike late on, made four key passes, and forced Goppel into that late own goal with a right-wing cross.

What’s next?

Both sides wrap up their qualifying campaigns on Sunday, with Germany visiting Armenia and Liechtenstein hosting Romania.