Germany made light work of their start to the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign after goals from Leon Goretzka,
Kai Havertz and Ilkay Gundogan gave them a 3-0 home win over Iceland in a lopsided Group J clash on Thursday.
and Havertz fired the Germans into a 2-0 lead inside the opening seven
minutes before Gundogan sealed victory with a sizzling low shot from 25
metres in the 56th.
The match went ahead
after two German players, Jonas Hofmann and Marcel Halstenberg, were
quarantined earlier on Thursday as Hofmann tested positive for COVID-19 and
Halstenberg was identified as a category one contact.
Germany took the lead
after a delightful move as Joshua Kimmich found Serge Gnabry in the penalty
area with a perfectly weighed pass and the latter touched it back for Goretzka
to volley home in the third minute.
Havertz made it 2-0
after another defence-splitting pass from Kimmich released Leroy Sane who
squared it back for the Chelsea forward to curl in a low first-time shot from
home side took their feet off the pedal after Gundogan's strike but
could have added the fourth as Gnabry hit the post with a rasping shot
in the 70th minute.
Germany coach Joachim Low, who is stepping down after this year's European Championship, was pleased with his team's start.
wasn't our most incredible performance, but it was very important to
make a positive start to the new year and that's what we've done
tonight," he said.
"We knew they'd sit deep and we knew
we were going to have to force them to move in order to create space. I
think we did that really well for at least 60 minutes."
was pleased with Germany's performance after their disappointing
Nations League campaign last year which ended in a group stage exit
after a 6-0 drubbing by Spain.
"We produced a strong performance and kept things under control," said the Manchester City playmaker. "We were just pleased to be playing together again and I think you saw we enjoyed it tonight.
"We don't always have a lot of time to work on things. We have to rely upon our own performances to deliver."
to kickoff, Germany's players lined up wearing shirts displaying the
message "HUMAN RIGHTS" with Goretzka elaborating on the intent
have the World Cup coming up and there will be discussions about it. We
wanted to show we are not ignoring that," he told RTL television. "We
wrote the letters ourselves. We have a large reach and we can use it to
set an example for the values we want to stand for. That was clear."
protest came after Norway staged similar action on Wednesday ahead of
their 3-0 win at Gibraltar in Group G, when their players donned
T-shirts with the message "Human rights, on and off the pitch".
players have been punished by FIFA and other football governing bodies
in the past for making political statements, no action will follow from
"FIFA believes in the freedom of speech, and in the power of football as a force for good," FIFA said in a statement.
Germany visit Romania in their next match on Sunday while Iceland are away to Armenia.