News : World Cup qualification – German national team wins against Iceland – sport
After the Corona scare in the morning, Joachim Löw could look forward to a problem-free victory at the start of his last mission as national coach. With Bayern power, the highly superior DFB team prevailed 3-0 (2-0) against Iceland in the first qualifying game for the 2022 World Cup in Duisburg. Munich’s Leon Goretzka (3rd minute) and England legionnaire Kai Havertz (7th) quickly took the lead. The formally strong Ilkay Gündogan (56th) followed up with his goal after the break. With this, the DFB team gave the national coach a small present after the recent debacle in Spain.
Löw, who will give up his position after 15 years after the European Championship, had to rebuild his team at short notice after the first Corona case in the national team. Because in addition to Jonas Hofmann from Mönchengladbach, who tested positive for Corona, Marcel Halstenberg, who was intended as a left-back, also had to be quarantined. The person from Leipzig was classified as a Category 1 contact person by the responsible health department and was also isolated.
“The need to show after such a long break that we are better than against Spain is huge for me and for my players too,” said Löw clearly at the beginning of his farewell tour. He was by no means disappointed by his team. In the empty Duisburg stadium, Löw got the earliest two-goal lead in an international match since the 4-2 win against Ecuador on the USA trip in May 2013.
Joshua Kimmich initiated the first two hits with two strong passes. First he skilfully lifted the ball onto his Munich colleague Serge Gnabry, who matched Goretzka. The 26-year-old scored for the 13th time in his 30th international match. Then Kimmich played Leroy Sané free, whose cross Havertz converted to 2-0. Löw had put the 21-year-old from Chelsea FC instead of club colleague Timo Werner in the starting line-up. “From the very first minute we played at full throttle. It’s fun to watch,” praised RTL expert Uli Hoeneß.
Such a lightning start was not to be expected after all the vortex in the morning when the corona virus penetrated the previously safe bubble of the German national soccer team with Hofmann’s positive test. Halstenberg, meanwhile, a backgammon game with Hofmann was undoing. “The two of them sat together for a long time. Then we had to follow up. That was the result. Unfortunately, that was a stupid backgammon game,” said DFB director Oliver Bierhoff. But the game was not in danger because the DFB’s hygiene concept worked.
So the DFB selection was able to present a different face in their new black EM away jerseys than in the 0: 6 disgrace 128 days ago, although the opponent was far from having the format of former world champions Spain. Dominant and focused, as Löw had demanded, the DFB-Elf appeared from the start. Kimmich, Goretzka and Ilkay Gündogan – according to Hoeneß “the showpiece” in the German team – consistently occupied the spaces in midfield and drove the game on again and again. On the flanks, Gnabry and Sané often changed positions and immediately regained a few balls.
The failure of regular players Toni Kroos (adductors) and Niklas Süle (strain) was hardly noticeable, even if not everything went well after the dream start. In the forefront, there was a lack of determination against the close-knit guests. It was only towards the end of the first half that the four-time world champion came up with further great opportunities through Kimmich (42nd) and Antonio Rüdiger (43rd).
The newly put together defense with Dortmund’s Emre Can as left-back was hardly challenged. Rüdiger intervened at the last moment in the only chance the Icelanders had in the first half through Runar Sigurjonsson (27th) and gave commands loudly as Löw demanded. At the beginning of the second round, the EM quarter-finalist from 2016 acted a little more courageously, while the German team switched to administrative mode.
But in the end it was Gündogan, who had been towering for weeks, who made things clear with a shot from distance. The 30-year-old documented his new goal threat in the DFB dress. In the Manchester City jersey, Gündogan has already been successful 16 times in 34 competitive games this season. Shortly thereafter, Gnabry failed on the post (70th).
In the final phase, Löw was able to spare his frequent players a little. Instead, the 18-year-old Bayern player Jamal Musiala, who last played for England’s U21s and then decided for the DFB team, made his national team debut.
It was the first of a maximum of twelve games under Löw until the farewell in the summer. On Saturday, the DFB entourage will leave for Romania for the second qualifying match, before North Macedonia will return to Duisburg on Wednesday to conclude the three-pack.