Germany still unstoppable

Germany crushed Azerbaijan 5-1 on Sunday with talented Leon Goretzka scoring twice, to complete a record-equalling World Cup qualifying campaign with 10 wins out of 10 matches.

Germany, who had already secured qualification for next year’s finals in Russia, needed an hour to hit their stride despite an early lead through the 22-year-old Goretzka, already a target for several top European clubs.

They made sure of the three points and a maximum 30 in Group C with a strong second half performance, scoring four more goals after a brief Azeri equaliser.

The Germans equalled Spain’s record from the 2008-9 qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup with their 10th victory but they could boast an even better goal difference than the Spaniards.

Leon Goretzka of Germany celebrates after he scores the opening goal during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Germany and Azerbaijan at Fritz-Walter-Stadion on October 8, 2017 in Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate.

Germany, who made seven changes to their line-up after the 3-1 win in Belfast against Northern Ireland that secured their qualification, went ahead through Goretzka’s superb and powerful eighth minute backheel.

Sandro Wagner should have doubled the lead on the half-hour mark but his casual effort was palmed onto the post by the keeper.

Instead, it was the hosts who scored, briefly stunning the home crowd, when Ramil Sheidaev fired in from a tight angle to complete a quick break in the 34th minute.

Coach Joachim Loew’s initial plans to use the game as a first test en route to their title defence went out the window with first-half injuries to Niklas Suele and Shkodran Mustafi. – Eurosport

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