Germany on Monday continued their spotless record under coach Hansi Flick and secured qualification for the next year’s FIFA World Cup, as Chelsea striker Timo Werner scored twice in a 4-0 rout of North Macedonia.
Just months after they slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat to the same opponent on home soil, Germany cruised to a dominant win in Skopje, Macedonia, to increase their lead at the top of Group J to eight points and secure their berth at next year’s tournament in Qatar.
Werner’s Chelsea teammate, Kai Havertz, also got on the scoresheet and Jamal Musiala scored his first international goal, as Germany made it five wins out of five under Flick, who took over from Joachim Loew after Euro 2020.
The 56-year-old coach said that the 2014 World Cup winners still had “a long way to go,” but said that his team could compete with the best in the world.
“Our players have the quality to rival France, Italy and Belgium. I am very optimistic,” he said.
Midfielder Leon Goretzka also backed Flick to take Germany back to the top of the world game, after failing to make it past the first two rounds at both of their past two major tournament appearances.
“We still need to improve to get back to the top, but there are few people better placed than Hansi to do that,” he told RTL.
Werner said Flick’s faith in him had helped him to shrug off growing self-doubt in recent months.
“When a coach likes you and trusts you, then it helps every striker, especially me. I need that trust, and Flick gives that to me 100 percent,” he said.
Germany were wasteful in the first half, but Havertz finally opened the scoring just after the break, slotting into an empty net.
Werner doubled the lead with a sharp volley on 70 minutes, before curling a third into the bottom corner a few minutes later.
Seven minutes from time, Musiala fired a low shot past North Macedonia goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski.
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