Chelsea striker Timo Werner scored twice in a 4-0 rout of North Macedonia on Monday, making Germany the first country to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. Germany cruised to a dominant win in Skopje, continuing their spotless record under new coach Hansi Flick, just months after suffering a shock 2-1 defeat to the same opponent on home soil. The Germans extended their lead at the top of Group J to eight points, securing their place in the championship in Qatar next year.
Musiala, an ex-Chelsea academy graduate who played 19 times for various England youth teams but opted to play for Germany through his mother, had a memorable night as he scored his first senior goal on his ninth cap. Hansi Flick’s four-time world winners are making their 20th appearance in the competition, with only Brazil (21) having appeared more times. With games against Liechtenstein and Armenia coming up next month, they did it with two games to spare.
Werner helps Germany qualify for the World Cup for the first time in Qatar
Timo Werner scored twice as Germany became the first side to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Qatar with an emphatic victory against North Macedonia. Following suffering their first home qualifying defeat in 20 years under previous manager Joachim Löw in April, Hansi Flick’s team reacted in style with a 4-0 victory in Skopje after a goalless first half.
Despite Romania’s 1-0 victory over Armenia, Kai Havertz’s opener in the 50th minute ultimately shattered the hosts’ resistance, and his Chelsea teammate Werner and Bayern Munich prodigy Jamal Musiala, with his first international goal, guaranteed Germany had an unassailable advantage at the top of Group J.
In other Group G action, a penalty from Burak Yilmaz in the ninth minute of injury time capped Turkey’s incredible comeback against Latvia. After Merih Demiral’s own goal gave the hosts the lead for the majority of the game, they fought back to stay in touch with the leaders, the Netherlands, and second-placed Norway, who both won comfortably against Gibraltar and Montenegro, respectively.
In Wales’ group, the Czech Republic overcame Belarus 2-0, while Croatia’s chances of qualifying automatically were dashed when a 2-2 home draw with Slovakia in Group H left them two points behind Russia in a two-team contest for first place. Russia beat Slovenia 2-1 away to leapfrog Croatia, who came back from two goals down against the Slovakians and had a late goal annulled after a VAR review.
Sveinn Aron and Andri Gudjohnsen both scored a late goal in Iceland’s 4-0 World Cup qualifying Group J triumph over Liechtenstein on Monday, maintaining the Gudjohnsen family’s rich goal-scoring tradition with the national team. Their father, Eidur, is the country’s equal top scorer with 26 international goals. He came off the bench to replace his father Arnor, who scored 14 goals in 73 internationals when he made his debut in 1996, but the two never played together.
His sons, on the other hand, had their chance on Monday when older brother Sveinn Aron, 23, came on with the score at 2-0 and the hosts added another with a penalty for Albert Gudmundsson before Andri, 19, came on in the 80th minute. Despite the win and the delight of the family, Iceland is second from the bottom of the six-team group with eight points after two games.
Meanwhile, Emile Smith Rowe spared England Under-21s’ blushes in Andorra as the Young Lions fought their way to victory. The Arsenal midfielder scored his first goal for the club in a 1-0 win for Lee Carsley’s side. Following a 2-2 draw in Slovenia last Thursday, Rhian Brewster was unjustly sent off in the second half, and the visitors appeared to be in trouble once more. They did, however, win their Euro 2023 qualifier to move into second place in Group G, two points behind Albania and the Czech Republic.