Germany maintained their excellent record under new coach Hansi Flick and qualified for the 2022 Qatar World Cup with a 4-0 thrashing of North Macedonia on Monday, with Chelsea forward Timo Werner scoring twice.
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 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 team-mate 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 2014 World Cup winners Germany still had “a long way to go”, but insisted 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 last 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.
Goalscorer Werner added that Flick’s faith in him had helped him to shrug off growing criticism of his form in recent months.