Germany become first team to qualify for 2022 World Cup

Mueez Ajao

– Germany qualified for the 2022 World Cup after crushing North Macedonia 4-0 on Monday to secure the top spot in their qualifying Group J with two games to spare.

– Two second half goals from Timo Werner and one each from Kai Havertz and Jamal Musiala lifted Germany to 21 points, with Romania in second place on 13 and two games remaining.

– All group winners automatically qualify for the tournament in Qatar.

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– The Germans, who were eliminated in the first round of the 2018 World Cup and the last 16 at this year’s Euros, had an early chance with a Thomas Muller header.

– But, as in their 2-1 home win over Romania on Friday, the Hanis Flick’s team lacked precision with their final pass and finishing, creating only a handful of chances in the first half until Werner hit the post with a low drive in stoppage time.

– Germany, beaten 2-1 by North Macedonia in Duisburg in March, broke the deadlock in the 50th minute when Serge Gnabry split the defence with a superb through ball for Muller and he laid it off for Havertz to tap in.

– Forward Werner then scored twice in three minutes, first drilling in from another Muller assist in the 70th and then curling a shot home from 15 metres three minutes later.

– Substitute Musiala completed the victory seven minutes before the end with his first international goal.