World Cup Qualifier: Germany and Spain cut loose with substantial victories

Germany trailed Armenia at the top of Group J before kick-off, but that was soon forgotten as Serge Gnabry scored twice in the first 15 minutes.

Germany players in a file photo; Credit: Twitter/@TimoWerner
By Sreejith C R | Sep 6, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Serge Gnabry scored a brace inside 15 minutes as Germany demolished Armenia 6-0 in their World Cup Qualifier, Group J encounter on Sunday. After a labouring 2-0 win against Liechtenstein on Tuesday, Hansi Flick’s side rediscovered their ruthlessness in Stuttgart to assert their authority in the group and leapfrog Armenia to the top. Karim Adeyemi and Timo Werner both scored before the break to take a 4-0 lead. Jonas Hofmann added a fifth seven minutes after the interval and substitute Karim Adeyemi completed the drubbing in stoppage time.

Surprisingly, prior to the kick-off at Mercedes Benz Arena, Germany wasn’t on top of the Group. However, they started the match like the leaders and took the lead inside six minutes of kick-off. Leon Goretzka played through Gnabry with a brilliant overhead flick and the Bayern winger smashed the ball past Armenia goalkeeper David Yurchenko.

A few minutes later, Werner failed to connect to Reus’ low cross from the left, but Gnabry was lurking behind at the far post to slot the ball past Yurchenko.

Three minutes after the half-hour mark, Gnabry’s overhead through ball was nicely back-heeled by Werner to set up Reus inside the box. The Borussia Dortmund forward made the score 3-0 with a half-volley.

The home side continued to attack with good overhead through passes, this time around, Joshua Kimmich’s pass found Goretzka inside the box, who headed the ball down for Werner to poke in.

Hoffman made the score 5-0 for Germany with a long ranger. Armenia’s clearance from a corner fell to Hoffman outside the box and the right-back’s first-time drive went to the bottom right corner of Armenia’s goal.

Adeyemi and Florian Wirtz played some wonderful one-touch football to get inside the box before the 19-year-old scored his first international goal to put the icing on the cake.

Spain back to winning ways

Meanwhile, in the other match of the day Spain got back to winning ways as they thrashed Georgia 4-0 in Badajoz to go top of Group B. La Roja had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Sweden in their previous match. Jose Gaya, Carlos Soler and Ferran Torres put the hosts in control with three first-half strikes. Pablo Sarabia added another after the break as Luis Enrique’s side cruised to three points.

“We came into this game following a defeat that hurt us a lot and we managed to bounce back,” Torres said.

“A result like this spurs us on and it was important to keep a clean sheet because goal difference could be key at the business end.”

Luis Enrique’s side started positively and rightly took the lead in the 14th minute through Gaya. The Valencia left-back’s shot from the edge of the box deflected off Guram Kashia and wrong-footed Giorgi Loria to go inside the visitor’s goal.

Soler then made it two goals in as many caps with an emphatic finish in the 25th minute. Ferran Torres extended the lead to three, before the break, after some good inter-play with Marcos Llorente.

Pablo Sarabia rounded off the proceeding in the 63rd minute as he finished off a quick counter-attack. The win helped Spain to 10 points from 5 games whereas Sweden are second with 9 points, having played two games less.

Kosovo, who beat Greece 1-0 on Sunday will host Spain on Wednesday, while Sweden travels to Greece.

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