Euro 2020 qualifying: Gündogan leads Germany to unconvincing win in Estonia | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 13.10.2019
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Euro 2020 qualifying: Gündogan leads Germany to unconvincing win in Estonia

Two deflected strikes from Ilkay Gündogan and a Timo Werner effort carried Germany to a 3-0 win in Estonia. The early sending off of Emre Can had Germany in some trouble but they recovered.

Estonia 0 - 3 Germany
(Gündogan 52', 57', Werner 71')

It's a win that puts Germany level on points with the Netherlands at the top of group C but this wasn't a match to remember for anyone, with the possible exception of Ilkay Gündogan.

After Emre Can had put himself and his side in trouble by failing to control a ball across the German penalty area in the 14th minute before chopping down his opponent, Germany briefly wobbled against a side that they'd beaten 8-0 a few months ago.

After a tepid first half in which Joachim Löw's men struggled to exert themselves and gave up some decent chances, the Manchester City midfielder proved decisive with a hand in all three goals.

The first, a deflected strike from a loose ball just outside the area, allowed the 2014 world champions to breathe a little easier, before an effort from a similar position five minutes later took an even bigger ricochet off Estonian defender Karol Mets.

Though the home side still posed some threat, the game was decisively settled 19 minutes from time when a lofted pass from Gündogan found substitute Timo Werner, who had pulled away to the left wing. The RB Leipzig striker sent his man tumbling to the floor before lashing home his first Germany goal since that rout of the same opponents in June.

The victory means wins in their final two qualifiers, against Belarus and Northern Ireland at home next month, will guarantee Germany a spot at Euro 2020.

As it happened

FULL TIME: The referee blows and Germany take the win.

90+1 - Werner, who has given Germany a different dimension since his introduction, misses the target with an effort. It makes little difference though.

89' - Free kicks for either side as we near the end.

86' - Amiri replaces Brandt for the visitors after Werner draws a smart save from the keeper. That's the last change for Joachim Löw's men.

83' - Estonia chance!
Kimmich makes a rare error in midfield and the hosts work a chance for Käit but Klostermann arrives just in time to throw his body in the way of the shot. 

81' - Brandt is played through by Werner but lashes wide with his left foot from a tricky angle. Then, at the other end, Ainsalu arrives late to meet a low cross but it's comfortable for Neuer.

77' - Reus is replaced by Serdar. Not his best game tonight but he did strike the post and was instrumental in the second, which has apparently been ruled an own goal. 

73' - Brandt fancies getting in on the act. He dances past a tackle in the box and whips one towards the far post. But Lepmets tips is round the corner. 

71' - Goal for Germany!
This isn't scrappy. Werner pulls away to the left and his run is spotted by Gündogan. The Manchester City midfielder finds a great lofted ball from deep allowing Werner to drive inside. He sends his man to the floor and lashes home. 

70' - It's scrappy. Very, very scrappy.

66' - The first corner, from the right is cleared behind and the second, from the left is cleared in to the midfield. That's the end of the game for Waldschmidt, who has been quiet. Werner is on in his place.

64' - Another dangerous break from Estonia but substitute Zenjov allows himself to be run in to a blind alley created by Süle, who puts it behind for a corner.

63' - Klostermann does brilliantly to cover round the back post and get to a dangerous low cross from the right just ahead of Liivak, who was ready to tap in from six yards

61' - Another sub for the home side. Kait comes on in place of Vassiljev.

57' - Goal for Germany!
It's Gündogan again, from a similar position. This time it's set up by a lovely little backheel from Reus. The strike looks to be going wide but takes a big deflection of Mets and finds its way in to the far corner. Game over you'd imagine and it's a bit harsh on Estonia.

56' - The first substitution comes from the hosts, who replace Sappinen with Zenjov.

52' - Goal for Germany!
This one came out of nowhere really. A Germany move breaks down around the D, bounces off a couple of Estonians and sits up for Gündogan. The midfielder's shot seems to take a slight deflection but flies past the keeper's right hand and in to the corner. A bit fortunate but they needed that.

50' - Early days, but this is looking quite familiar so far.

47' - Liivak drives down the left, cuts inside past Süle and fires off a shot. It's on target but easy enough for Neuer. 

46' - The second half is underway. Can Germany find something else?

HALF TIME: That's it for the first 45. Emre Can's early sending off, for taking down his man after failing to control a ball across the box, has unsettled Germany, who have barely created a chance in a sterile display. In fact the hosts, depsite having limited ambition, have come closest to breaking the deadlock. Time for Löw to earn his corn.

44' - A poor clearance from Klostermann falls to Antonov, whose shot flies over. Brandt tries from long range at the other end and it's absolutely dreadful. Blow the whistle, ref.

43' - Germany knock the ball about 10 or 20 yards outside the box then give it away without penetrating. That sentence sums up about 60% of this half.

40' - Germany hit the post!
Marco Reus stands over a freekick a far way out on the left of the penalty area. He connects sweetly and it looks like it's dipping in the top corner but smacks the top of the post and flies back out. That's the closest Germany have come, by some distance.

37' - Vassiljev finds a pocket of space and lets fly from about 25 yards in a central position. He's trying to curl it but it's never troubling Neuer.

36' - Brandt and Klostermann combine well down the right and the winger gets in behind, finally. But Brandt's delivery is weak and straight in to the keeper's arms.

34' - Germany are really missing a genuine number 9 at the minute. They are getting in to the last third easily enough but then just popping it about with no real thrust, no-one is keen to run in behind. 

31' Chance for Estonia!
The hosts get away down the left and their veteran playmaker Vassiljev just checks his run to find half a yard in the box. The cross is just behind him and he hooks a volley goalwards. But he doesn't quite catch it and it's simple for Neuer. 

30' - Lepmets, the Estonian keeper, has just been booked for timewasting. In the first half hour. Yep.

27' - Kimmich follows Waldschnmidt's lead and tries one from range. It's ambitious and also poor, flying harmlessly in to the stands. Estonia are defending the edge of their box well at the minute and Germany don't have many ideas.

25' - Waldschmidt gets fed up of the pretty passing patterns on the edge of the box and has a pop from 25 yards. It's a decent strike but close enough for Lepmets to tip around the post. The corner comes to nothing.

22' - After a period of panic, Germany have regained some control. Brandt, Havertz and Kimmich all try to work a way through the massed ranks of blue but get no joy. 

18' - Chance for Estonia!
Germany are rattled. A corner eludes everyone in the box and Mets is all alone at the back post. The ball bounces towards him but he can't get over it. Best chance of the game that.

17' - They were already short of center backs so what will Germany do now? Kimmich seems to have dropped back for now. Koch is on the bench.

14' - Can sent off!
Well, well. Can lets a ball from Süle across the box run across him rather than taking a touch. The Estonian forward sees his opportunity and nips in to take the ball. Can goes to ground but gets only the man. Professional foul and he's off. 

13' - Some nice one touch stuff from Germany who eventually try a cross. It's cleared straight to Gündogan 20 yards out in a central position but it's a wild effort and flies in to the stands.

10' - Germany absolutely bossing this, as you'd expect. Can is stepping forward to make an extra man in midfield and those ahead of him are very fluid. 

8' - The hosts are being pinned in here and Germany have another corner. Kimmich hits it long towards the back post but the referee has spotted a foul.

3' - Brandt collects a ball from Havertz and tries to get to the byline to the left of Estonia's area but Pikk gets across well to stab the ball out for a corner, which the hosts scramble away. Eventually Gündogan sticks it back in the mixer between the onrushing Can and the Estonian keeper, Lepmets. -he gets there first and it bounces behind off Can.  

1' - Sappinen is a little late in the tackle as Can clears in his own box. Bit lucky to escape yellow there.

1' -  And we're off! The home side get things underway.

20:42 - The players are out on the pitch mumbling the anthems, which means we're nearly ready to go.

20:35 - Löw goes high

The Germany coach is in the house and greeting supporters with what seems to be a no-look high five. Showy. 

20:30 - Second nation secure qualification

After Belgium cruised through earlier in the week, we have our second qualifier.

20:21 - Gündogan and Can in social media controversy

They're both starting tonight but Emre Can and Ilkay Gündogan have both courted controversy by liking a military salute post by the Turkish national team before retracting that like. More on that one here.

20:02 - Netherlands survive scare to top group

Germany almost got a bit of good news before a ball was kicked after Belarus pegged the Netherlands back to 2-1 early in the second half but Ronald Koeman's men held on. They're now three points clear of Germany at the top of Group C, though you wouldn't imagine it'll stay that way. 

19:45 - Germany team announced

The teams are in and it's Luca Waldscmidt who will lead the line for Germany in the absence of Serge Gnabry. The Freiburg man was quiet against Argentina but will hope to thrive on service from Julian Brandt, Kai Havertz and the returning Marco Reus. It looks like Emre Can will drop in to center back alongside Niklas Süle and the presence of Ilkay Gündogan should allow Havertz to play in a more advanced role.

Confirmation of Gnabry knock

The DFB have now confirmed that Serge Gnabry will miss out tonight. The wording suggests it's nothing serious, so Bayern fans can breathe a little easier. Elsewhere a Georginio Wijnaldum first half double has put the Netherlands two up in Belarus.

Gnabry reportedly injured

On the subject of the Bayern Munich man, German tabloid Bild are reporting that Gnabry is the latest Germany player to pick up an injury. According to their story, the forward has a "muscular problem" but the extent of the injury is unclear. They're dropping like flies.

Löw on Gnabry

He's the man in form right now but Germany coach Joachim Löw says his original intention was to get Serge Gnabry involved in the Germany set up much earlier. Perhaps a touch of revisionism there?

One step closer?

Even with Germany's patchy form of late this is an enormous task for the hosts who have just a solitary point from their five Group C games. A win today would put daylight between them and Northern Ireland. Those two sides meet in the final match of the group, in Germany. Joachim Löw's side have a game against Belarus before that. The Netherlands travel to take on the Belarussians this afternoon.

Netherlands      5 4 0 1 17  6 12
Germany          5 4 0 1 17  6 12
Northern Ireland 6 4 0 2  8  7 12
Belarus          6 1 1 4  3 10  4
Estonia          6 0 1 5  2 18  1
 




BTS with Die Mannschaft

You've got to love a quick pre-match video montage to ambient trance music! 

Kai Havertz on competition for places: "Every player wants to play as much as possible. I try to perform well whenever I get minutes. The rest will come by itself at some point. I am happy to be out on the pitch. I am not bothered whether I play in a more defensive role or further forward."

 

#haltdiefresse

Joachim Löw on Serge Gnabry: "I travelled to London a couple of times in early 2014. I wanted to take Serge to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but unfortunately he then picked up an injury. He has the qualities to play at the highest of levels. We need to play to his strengths and give him the support he needs. As he's shown over the past year, if he's fit then he simply has to play."

Gnabry no longer Germany's secret weapon 

Helped by a hat-trick on his senior debut for Germany, Serge Gnabry has netted a stunning 10 goals in 11 games on the international circuit. A look at his numbers from the 2019/20 campaign are even more impressive given he's been involved, either scoring or assisting, in 13 goals in 12 games for club and country, making his the most in-form German footballer on the planet right now

Manuel Neuer on the clash with Estonia: "We need to play with momentum and create chances, so that we can score as quickly as possible and put ourselves on the path to victory. I expect us to be very focused. We need to keep a good structure, pass the ball around well and take our chances so that we can score as quickly as possible." 

Preserving a perfect record

Germany boast an unblemished record against Estonia having met on four previous occasions. Their last meeting, an 8-0 win in Mainz, was their first in 80 years as Marco Reus, Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka, Ilkay Gündogan, Timo Werner and Leroy Sane all got on the scoresheet.

Tales of Tallinn

Die Mannschaft depleted

Löw is having to cope with a lengthy list of absentees:

Draxler (foot), Ginter (shoulder), Goretzka (hamstring), Hector (muscle), Kehrer (foot), Kroos (adductor), Rüdiger (groin), Sane (ACL), Stark (gash), Schulz (foot), Tah (cold), Trapp (shoulder) 

'Professional performance'

Germany's 4-2 loss to the Dutch back in September was a significant blow to their chances of finishing top of Group C. While they'll need their counterparts to drop points, ahead of tonight's "no brainer" against Estonia, head coach Joachim Löw called for focus. "We can't afford to drop any more points in our group so I'm expecting a professional performance from the team."

A must-win against Estonia?

Welcome one and all to DW's coverage of Germany's EURO 2020 qualifying clash with Estonia. One of three sides in Group C with 12 points to their name, Germany have a game in hand on Northern Ireland, but trial the Netherlands due to an inferior head-to-head record and know that nothing but a comfortable win will suffice in Tallinn. 

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