Germany made a comfortable start to their World Cup qualifying campaign as early goals from Leon Goretzka and Kai Havertz paved the way for a 3-0 win over Iceland.
News of Joachim Low’s upcoming departure after the Euros dominated the build-up to Germany’s Group J opener, though a vibrant performance proved the quality the outgoing boss has at his disposal heading into his final tournament.
Goretzka and Havertz had Germany 2-0 up after just seven minutes – the quickest Die Mannschaft have been two goals ahead in a competitive match since May 1969, when Gerd Muller and Wolfang Overath struck against Cyprus.
In-form Ilkay Gundogan arrowed in his 13th goal of 2021 for club and country midway through the second half, wrapping up a convincing triumph.
A 6-0 defeat to Spain rounded off a frustrating 2020 for Germany, but they made a fantastic start to 2021. Iceland had only touched the ball twice by the time Goretzka drilled home the opener from the centre of the area – Serge Gnabry having cushioned Joshua Kimmich’s lofted pass into the midfielder’s path.
Kimmich was the architect of Germany’s second goal five minutes later with a wonderful throughball to release Leroy Sane, who squared for Havertz to finish coolly.
Germany’s lead seemed set to be halved when Runar Mar Sigurjonsson’s shot took a wicked deflection off Antonio Rudiger but the ball dropped inches wide.
Kimmich should have had an assist to his name prior to half-time, only for Rudiger to head wide from the midfielder’s inch-perfect cross.
Aron Gunnarsson could have done better with a free header shortly after the interval, and any lingering Iceland hopes were swiftly dashed when Gundogan found the bottom-left corner.
Havertz had a goal disallowed for offside and Gnabry hit the post after latching onto another sublime Kimmich pass, but there was no further punishment for new Iceland coach Arnar Vidarsson.
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