Germany continued their winning start to EURO 2020 qualification in Borisov on Saturday evening, comfortably beating Belarus 2-0. Leroy Sané scored early in the first half, before Marco Reus wrapped up victory for stand-in head coach Marcus Sorg’s side round the hour mark.
After a boisterous start from the hosts, Germany soon took over control of proceedings, but had to meticulously work their way through the organised Belarus defence. Lukas Klostermann was the first to be sent beyond the backline, but the outrushing Aleksandr Gutor was first to the ball. The natives’ goalkeeper was then forced into his first saves of the day, keeping out Serge Gnabry and a thunderous strike from the once again advanced Klostermann.
Reus had a go from the edge of the box but wasn’t precise enough with his curling effort. Leroy Sané was able to go one better in the twelfth minute though. Germany caught Belarus in possession high up the pitch and Joshua Kimmich quickly moved the ball forward to the Manchester City winger, who took a touch onto his left foot and stroked the ball inside the far post.
Die Mannschaft maintained control of the match in the aftermath of the goal, but the home side had a strong spell after half an hour of play. A last-ditch block forced a corner, and Manuel Neuer had to be at his best to save Nikita Naumov’s header from the resulting set piece. The Germany captain then showed what else he has in his locker, coming out of his box to dispossess Yuri Kovalev on the byline, before twisting and turning past the Belarus attacker in typical Neuer sweeper-keeper fashion.
The game followed a similar pattern after the break. Gündogan played in Sané in the 48th minute, but the attacker took too long to shoot and eventually saw his chance blocked off. Die Mannschaft continued to search for the second goal and parked themselves firmly in their opponent’s final third. Klostermann then had a fine chance after 54 minutes, however, the Leipzig defender’s shot cleared the bar from close range.
Germany continued to control the game more and more – but were just missing that second goal. It finally came after just over an hour of football: Matthias Ginter played a wonderful square pass through a host of bodies to Marco Reus, who confidently converted from inside the penalty box. Gnabry could have made it three on the turn, while Sané failed to convert a dangerous cross from Nico Schulz. Sané was then denied what would have been his second goal by the post in the 83rd minute after a header, meaning it ended 2-0 in Belarus.###more###