The German Nationalmannschaft completed a perfect start to the Hansi Flick Era with a 4-0 victory over Iceland on Wednesday night in Reykjavik.
Tallies from Serge Gnabry, Antonio Rüdiger, Leroy Sané, and Timo Werner ensured that that the team outscored their three opponents by a combined 12-0 scoreline in September.
Hansi Flick's first international break concluded on a high note with the DFB-XI capturing nine from a possible nine points in three World Cup Qualifying matches. The result of the game never appeared to be in much doubt, with only a pair of soft efforts by the hosts threatening to break what is now a run of three consecutive clean sheets for Germany.
Flick made one change to the XI that defeated Armenia 6-0 Sunday evening in Stuttgart. Ilkay Gündogan returned to the staring XI in place of the injured Marco Reus. The change appeared a straight like-foxlike swap. Gündogan took over for Reus in the ten spot. Jonas Hofmann and Thilo Kehrer and Jonas Hofmann remained stationed in the fullback positions in the same 4-2-3-1.
Serge Gnabry and Timo Werner got early looks at goal before Gnarby expertly finished off a Leroy Sané cross in the 4th. After video review, an offside judgement was overturned and the guests led 1-0. Twenty minutes later, Antonio Rüdiger hit the back of the net with a diping headed finish of a Joshua Kimmich free-kick service. Kimmich was also involved in the first goal.
While the approximately 3,000 Icelandic fans in attendance never relented in their cheering and percussions, there seemed little doubt who would win the match thereafter. The German team tried many creative ideas out in ball possession. Iceland managed little save a few tame efforts that failed to truly test Manuel Neuer.
Flick made two substitutions at the half. Lukas Klostermann and Kai Havertz relieved G nabry and Hofmann respectively. The two sides traded big chances in a furious few minutes after the restart, with Timo Werner failing to finish on the German side. Havertz then missed his own monster opportunity in the 55th.
The two misses from the Chelsea professionals proved a moot point, however, as Sané converted in the 56th. The Bayern winger provided an emphatic first-time finish from close range. Sané started the give and go with Goretzka, then positioned himself perfectly to receive the play through. The strike bulged the top of the net to it's limit.
Flick's XI lost a bit of their rhythm as the substitutes began pouring on, but Havertz and the subbed on Jamal Musiala were able to get Timo Werner a much needed goal at 90+1 with some slick tricks. Musiala played forward for Havertz with a cheeky back heel and the 22-year-old shuffled across with the outside of his boot for his Chelsea teammate. Keeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson couldn't compensate in time.
With 15 points, the German national team now stands four points clear on top of Qualifying Group. Only the first place finishers in the groups can punch an automatic ticket to next winter's World Cup in Qatar. Qualifying resumes during the next international break on October 8th.
|4||Victor Pálsson ↩89|
|16||Ísak Jóhannesson ↩71|
|7||Johann Guðmundsson (C) ↩71|
|10||Albert Gudmundsson ↩80|
|22||Andri Lucas Guojohnsen ↪80|
|11||Arnór Sigurdsson ↪71|
|15||Andri Fannar Baldursson ↪89|
|19||Jón Thorsteinsson ↪71|
|1||Manuel Neuer (C)|
|23||Jonas Hofmann ↩46|
|15||Niklas Süle ↩59|
|2||Antonio Rüdiger ⚽|
|8||Leon Goretzka ↩80|
|10||Serge Gnabry ⚽ ↩46|
|19||Leroy Sané ⚽ ↩60|
|9||Timo Werner ⚽|
|16||Lukas Klostermann ↪46|
|20||Robin Gosens ↪59|
|7||Kai Havertz ↪46|
|11||Florian Wirtz ↪80|
|14||Jamal Musiala ↪60|