Flick hails 'brave' Germany after they cruise past Israel

By Sports Desk March 26, 2022

Hansi Flick praised Germany's "brave" approach after they racked up an eighth straight win under his leadership against Israel on Saturday.

Die Mannschaft went ahead in the 36th minute courtesy of Kai Havertz's near-post header from a corner, before Timo Werner added a second in first-half stoppage time with an instinctive finish from Ilkay Gundogan's free-kick.

Thomas Muller squandered a golden opportunity to add a third in the 89th minute, crashing a penalty against the post, while Israel also missed from 12 yards a few minutes later when Kevin Trapp denied Yonatan Cohen.

The result meant Germany have won all eight games under Flick since he took over from Joachim Low last year, scoring 33 goals and conceding just two.

Flick was pleased with his side's display and highlighted their prowess from set pieces during his fledgling reign. 

"I'm satisfied. We played very bravely and pressed them hard," he told reporters. "Overall, we can be happy with all parts of the team. I think it's great how they rewarded themselves.

"We have scored six goals from set pieces in eight games, that's something to be proud of."

Werner's strike was his 22th in the colours of Die Mannschaft, and Flick was pleased with his contribution given his reduced game time for Chelsea in recent months,

"Timo hasn't played for a long time, only made a few appearances," he added. "You can already tell that the rhythm is missing.

"Of course, I'm pleased that he scored a goal. It's also extremely important for a striker to know where the goal is and he's someone who keeps trying, keeps going deep."

Israel's penalty was awarded for Nico Schlotterbeck's clumsy trip on Cohen after he had cheaply lost possession, and Flick warned the Freiburg full-back that mistakes like that will be punished at the World Cup.

"At this level you just have to be fully focused for 90 minutes," he said. "Such a mistake at the World Cup could be deadly. Up until then he had done very well."

Germany face Netherlands in another friendly and Tuesday, with Flick eagerly awaiting the opportunity to pit his wits against a coaching idol of his, Louis van Gaal.

"We're looking forward to this duel," he added. "I'm happy that we're playing against Louis van Gaal. 

"He's someone who gave me a lot in my coaching career, because I appreciated Dutch football very much, loved it very much and kept learning from there. 

"He was definitely one of the great coaches from whom I took a lot with me."

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