Thomas Mرller saved Germany from a late victory as the hosts took a six-point lead in their group with a nerve-wracking 2-1 victory over Romania in Friday’s World Cup qualifier.
Romania suffered a setback in the ninth minute in Hamburg when Rangers winger Ianis Hagi slammed through the defense and injured German goalkeeper Mark-Andre Ter Stegen, a late replacement for injured Manuel Neuer.
Romania took a 1-0 lead at the break but Serge Gnabri equalized 52 minutes later with his 20th goal in 30 international matches.
M مولller then stepped off the bench for his 107th Germany appearance and scored his 40th international goal in nine minutes.
“It was frustrating to concede the opening goal, but the team competed, never gave up and played with confidence,” said Germany head coach Hansi Falk.
“In the end, the victory is more than we deserve because we have dominated for a long time.”
The results extended Germany’s lead in Group J to northern Macedonia before Monday’s next qualifier. Winning the scoop will put the Germans on the brink of a World Cup ticket.
“The earlier we qualify, the better. Today was a big step. Now we want to make it clear on Monday,” said goal scorer Gunabri.
After defeating northern Macedonia in March, Germany resumed its World Cup qualifiers under the skies with victories against Liechtenstein, Armenia and Iceland in September.
It was a low-confidence performance by the Germans, who soon retreated, yet Falak enjoyed his fourth consecutive victory.
After minor contact with Timo Werner, VAR refused to fine the Germans, before Hagi stunned the hosts.
The Rangers forward outperformed Chelsea defender Antonio Roediger and cleared the ball off the diving terrestrial.
There were nervous eyes in the German ranks, like in March when Northern Macedonia won 2-1 in Davisburg – the first time Germany had lost a World Cup qualifier in 20 years.
Gnabry, Marco Reus and Werner all had chances for Germany, but it took a long time for the hosts to hold back.
The hosts drew level when Gnabry drilled into his shot seven minutes after the break.
Warner and Reeves made it 20 minutes for Miller and Kai Hawartz. He turned the game around.
After Lever Gortzka’s header, Mرller threw the winner on the roof of the net, before he missed the golden opportunity before hitting the defense with the ball on his feet.
Romania could have held the equalizer late when their captain, Vlad Cherichez, fired just a goal away from the German goal.