- Germany with four wins from as many qualifying games.
- Gnabry and Henrichs handed first senior starts.
- Löw's side yet to concede a goal in qualifying.
Reigning world champions Germany took another step towards qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a comfortable 8-0 victory away to European minnows San Marino.
Germany coach Joachim Löw reshuffled his side for the visit to San Marino, and handed full debuts to SV Werder Bremen's Serge Gnabry and Bayer 04 Leverkusen youngster Benjamin Henrichs. The two newcomers settled in quickly as the visitors overwhelmed their hosts, who fielded several semi-professional players, and went ahead through early goals from Sami Khedira and Gnabry. Jonas Hector added a third just after the half-hour mark to give Germany a comfortable lead at the break.
It was one-way traffic after the interval too, as Germany patiently probed around a crowded home penalty area. Their efforts were rewarded as the hosts began to tire, with Gnabry scoring two more and Hector also grabbing another on a miserable evening for San Marino. An own goal from Mattia Stefanelli and a late strike by substitute Kevin Volland further highlighted the gulf in class between the two sides.
Man of the match
San Marino may not have presented Germany with the sternest of tests, but the visitors did their job professionally. Gnabry lit up a cold, wet night in the mountainous enclave, scoring a hat-trick on his debut and proving to be a lively, willing outlet on the left all night.
This may be a very different side from the one that lifted the World Cup in July 2014 – only Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller started both that game and this one – but Germany's next generation of players are proving there is no shortage of talent as they look to defend their crown.
- Germany had 75 per cent of possession throughout the game.
- Löw's troops have scored 16 goals without reply in qualifying so far.
- Gnabry had more shots on goal (seven) than any other player.
San Marino: A. Simoncini – Palazzi, Cesarini, Simoncini, F. Vitaioli, M. Berardi – Zafferani (Brolli 83'), Gasperoni, Tosi (Domeniconi 59'), M. Vitaoli (Hirsch 90+1') - Stefanelli
Coach: Pier Angelo Manzaroli
Germany: ter Stegen – Henrichs, Kimmich, Hummels, Hector – Khedira (c) (Goretzka 77'), Gündogan – Müller, Götze (Meyer 71'), Gnabry – Gomez (Volland 71')
Coach: Joachim Löw