As Joachim Löw’s side cruised to victory in their first 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Iceland, Bayern Munich’s Leon Goretzka scored the first of three goals, while Jamal Musiala made his international debut.
It was Germany’s first game in 2021, and the first under Joachim Löw since his declaration that he will step down as head coach after the Euros this summer. With two goals in the first seven minutes, his team demonstrated their desire to take the World Cup-winning coach out in style.
The first came from the Allianz Stadium when Joshua Kimmich chipped a ball in behind the Iceland defense for Serge Gnabry, who played it back for Goretzka to score inside three minutes. Four minutes later, Kimmich played Leroy Sane in down the flank, and his cut-back was slotted away across the target by Kai Havertz. It was an excellent start that continued during Germany’s domination of the first half.
As opportunities started to come, Goretzka headed wide at the near post and Havertz fired past the post, while Iceland had their first and only attempt on target of the first period with 25 minutes played, as Runar Sigurjonsson had a shot blocked wide off Antonio Rüdiger. Chelsea’s defender had a perfect opportunity to make it three before halftime, but he headed wide from Kimmich’s cross.
The hosts got off to a slower start in the second half, with Iceland getting a decent shot on target early on by Aron Gunnarsson. Nonetheless, Germany was able to extend their lead just 11 minutes after the break. Ilkay Gündogan was spotted outside the Iceland field by Gnabry, who skipped past a challenge before thumping the ball home low to the goalkeeper’s left. Iceland, on the other hand, appeared to pose a threat to Germany’s defense, with Jon Bödvarsson forcing Manuel Neuer into a save with a crisp volley. Germany calmed the game down from there, with Bayern midfielder Jamal Musiala coming on in the final 12 minutes to mark his international debut for Germany.
In the end, it was the ideal start to the qualification process, with Löw hoping to pave the way for his future replacement to have a smooth path to next year’s World Cup.