Germany began their qualification campaign for the 2022 World Cup with a convincing 3-0 win over Iceland in Duisburg. Leon Goretzka (3’) and Kai Havertz (7’) scored early goals to set Joachim Löw’s side on their way, before Ilkay Gündogan sealed the points in the second half (56’).
Löw went with a 4-3-3 formation with Manuel Neuer captaining the side in goal. Lukas Klostermann, Antonio Rüdiger, Matthias Ginter and Emre Can made up the back four, with Goretzka, Joshua Kimmich and Gündogan playing in midfield behind Leroy Sané, Serge Gnabry and Havertz.
The first two minutes were a sign of things to come in Duisburg. Without any possession at all, Iceland were behind after 121 seconds. Kimmich chipped a beautiful ball into the box to Gnabry and he set it back to Goretzka, who slotted it into the bottom corner on the half-volley.
After just six minutes, Germany had doubled their lead with some more attractive football. Again it was Kimmich who got the ball moving, playing it behind the Iceland right-back for Sané this time. The winger cut it back to Kai Havertz and he stroked it home with a nice left-footed finish.
Germany were dominating proceedings, enjoying 70% of the ball. A Gündogan corner was narrowly headed wide by Goretzka in 13th minute, while Kimmich was imperious in midfield, completing almost every single pass he attempted.
Iceland’s best moment came after 27 minutes. Runar Sigurjonsson’s shot was deflected by Rüdiger away from Neuer and it flew just past the far post.
Gnabry and Sané were both dangerous on the wings, although their crosses didn’t find a man in the box. Goretzka’s shot from range didn’t test out Halldorsson, but the away keeper did have to save Kimmich’s effort (42’). On the stroke of half time, Rüdiger headed wide from a Kimmich cross (43’).
Germany continued to have more of the ball, but Iceland looked to press more in the second half. Nonetheless, during the away side’s best period of the game, the hosts added a third goal. Ilkay Gündogan struck a low drive into the back of the net from just outside the box.
The third goal gave the German team more confidence. Passing combinations flowed smoothly again, though the Icelanders countered this with greater strength in winning duels and pushed forward with more purpose. Jon Dadi Bödvarsson tested Neuer from the edge of the penalty area (65’), before Leroy Sané went close after a counterattack following a good ball from Goretzka (69’). Serge Gnabry did better after a great lofted pass from Joshua Kimmich, but the post came to the rescue for Iceland (70’).
Löw then introduced some fresh legs for the final phase of the match in the form of Florian Neuhaus, who replaced Leon Goretzka (71’). Neuhaus announced himself with a good pass to Kimmich, who was unable to finish from an acute angle (76’).
Shortly after this, Jamal Musiala was brought on for his international debut as Kai Havertz made way (79’). The 18-year-old was introduced alongside Timo Werner, who was the replacement for Leroy Sané. Just before the end of the match, Amin Younes made his comeback in a Germany shirt as he came on for Serge Gnabry for the final few minutes (86’).