Soccer: Gundogan scores two goals in Germany’s 4-1 win over Armenia.
German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan scored two goals in his 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Armenia on Sunday (November 14) to finish atop Group J with his seventh consecutive win with coach Hansi Flick.
Already qualified Germany, which lost a dozen players to Covid-19 injury, suspension, and quarantine and after having made six changes to the team that beat Liechtenstein 9-0 on Thursday, earned its ninth win in 10 qualifiers for the finish in first place with 27 points. North Macedonia ranks second with 18.
Gundogan scored on either side of the break after Kai Havertz put the visitors in front. Jonas Hofmann also scored for the Germans.
“We won 4-1, we reached our goal with 27 points,” said Flick, who replaced Joachim Loew in September.
“Not everything was perfect, but it’s great to see how the team plays, with this joy and fun in their game.
“Now we have some time (until the World Cup) and also until the next international to analyze everything, improve some things and show development. But the team has fun on the field and that is a good basis for us.”
Germany, after a first-round start at the 2018 World Cup and the round of 16 at this year’s Euro Cup, will be looking to improve at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“There are things we need to train and things will get better,” Flick said. “You see that the team wants to constantly advance to create chances. We know where we have to improve, but we still have time.
“But overall we have won seven games, we also won the last game of the year. I can only congratulate them.” The visitors got off to a good start and Havertz hit the post in the fifth minute. He did better 10 minutes later turned into a Thomas Mueller cutout with a deft touch.
The Germans had several good opportunities to score again, but had to wait until injury time in the first half when Gundogan scored a penalty.
The Manchester City midfielder scored his 13th international goal five minutes after the restart when Armenian goalkeeper Stanislav Buchnev let the German’s weak shot escape.
The hosts briefly withdrew a goal from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s penalty in the 59th minute, but Germany restored their three-goal lead five minutes later when Hofmann pounced on a defense to charge into the box and concede.