WC Qualification Europe
FT
3 - 0
(2 - 0)
Germany
Iceland
L. Goretzka (3), K. Havertz (7), İ. Gündoğan (56)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Bierhoff explains reasoning behind Halstenberg's isolation: "Unfortunately, it was a stupid game of backgammon"

German national team director Oliver Bierhoff updated the public on Marcel Halstenberg's status shortly after Germany kicked off against Iceland on Thursday. 
Giving the public an unexpected glimpse into the stringent contact-tracing protocols inside the German national team, DFB team director Oliver Bierhoff noted that Marcel Halstenberg's self-isolation was prompted by prolonged exposure to Jonas Hofmann. The Leipzig fullback was thus classified as as "Level 1 Contact" after Hofmann tested positive for COVID earlier in the day.

"They sat together for a long time," Bierhoff reported, "Unfortunately, it was a stupid game of backgammon."

Prior to kickoff, Bundestrainer Joachim Löw told the RTL microphones that he had absolutely planned to start Halstenberg, huffing "we've had to improvise again."

Without Halstenberg and the injured Robin Gosens, Löw swing Emré Can out to left-back. In point of fact, this wasn't a novel improvisation as Can has played as a fullback many times for club team Borussia Dortmund this season.

"I would have liked to have everyone on board this week," Löw said in  a pre-match interview, "but there's no need to lament. We have to make the best of it."

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