Germany 2-1 Romania: Hosts on verge of qualifying for 2022 World Cup after sub Thomas Muller scores 81st minute winner to complete comeback win
- Rangers midfielder Ianis Hagi gave Romania a shock lead in the ninth minute
- Serge Gnabry drilled in a leveller from outside the box in the 52nd minute
- Thomas Muller turned home a late winner at the back post from a corner
Substitute Thomas Muller scored an 81st minute winner to complete Germany’s 2-1 comeback win over visitors Romania in their 2022 World Cup qualifier on Friday that kept them on course for a spot in next year’s tournament.
The Germans, who have now won all four matches under new coach Hansi Flick, lead the standings in Group J with 18 points from seven matches, six ahead of North Macedonia and Armenia.
They have conceded just one goal in their last four matches could now seal their spot with a win over North Macedonia next week.
Sub Thomas Muller turned home a late winner for Germany at the back post from a corner
Serge Gnabry drilled in a leveller from outside the box for Germany in the 52nd minute
‘We were engaged but it was not a good feeling going into the break at 1-0. We did get the two goals then,’ Muller said.
‘We know that when we fall behind we can continue to trust each other and do the things that set out to do, and it is good to see it then reflected in the result. It was a good evening for us.’
The hosts had the upper hand but it was the visitors who struck first with Ianis Hagi taking on two defenders, slipping the ball through the legs of Antonio Ruediger and then drilling in for the lead in the ninth minute.
Germany had possession and full control, spending most of the first 45 minutes in the Romanian half but lacking some clinical finish, with Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka coming close.
Rangers’ Ianis Hagi gave Romania a shock lead by slotting a shot past Marc-Andre ter Stegen
They did, however, repeatedly look vulnerable when Romania counter-attacked, as they had done with Hagi to take the lead.
Gnabry did find the deserved equaliser in the 52nd, firing in a low shot from the edge of the box for his 20th goal in his 30th international appearance.
Flick had pledged a high intensity performance from his team and they kept combining well and attacking as Romania, defending with five players, gradually grew tired and pulled back deeper into their own half.
After Gnabry and Havertz came close, Germany, with more than 70% possession throughout the game, got the winner when Muller, who had come on midway through the second half, tapped in at the far post after Goretzka headed on a corner.