Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus was on target in Belarus as Germany made it two wins from two in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying Group C.
Belarus 0-2 Germany
Goals: 0-1 Sane (13'), 0-2 Reus (62')
Buoyed by their last-gasp win over the Netherlands on Matchday 1, Germany took control of proceedings early in the first half in Borisov. Belarus goalkeeper Aleksandr Gutor pulled off a strong double save from Serge Gnabry and Lukas Klostermann, but was powerless to prevent Leroy Sane driving into the bottom corner with Germany’s next attack. Bayern Munich and Germany captain Manuel Neuer was called on to tip a point-blank header from Nikita Naumow over the crossbar, before Sane passed up the chance to add a second late in the half.
Germany started the second period strongly and should have doubled their lead in the 54th minute, but Klostermann couldn’t keep his left-footed drive from inside the penalty area down. The three-time European champions got the goal they deserved moments later, though, as Reus applied the finishing touch to Borussia Mönchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter’s sweeping cross from the right. Germany, who hit the woodwork through Sane late on, have the chance to move level on points with Group C leaders Northern Ireland when they take on Estonia in Mainz on Tuesday.
- Germany, who have qualified for every European Championship since 1968, were playing their 100th Euro qualifier.
- Reus scored his 11th senior international goal.
- Schulz has two goals and two assists to show for his seven Germany appearances to date.
- Joshua Kimmich's pass for Sane's opener was his 12th assist in a Germany shirt, but first in 16 matches.
- RB Leipzig's Klostermann won his second Germany cap.
- Neuer's understudy at Bayern, Sven Ulreich received his first call-up to the Germany squad.
Belarus: Gutor - Shitov, Naumov, Martynovich (c), Polyakov - Gromyko (Korzun 57'), Dragun - Kovalev (Gordeichuk 69'), Maevski, Volodko - Laptev (Skavysh 62')
Unused subs: Klimowich, Pavlyuchenko, Pechenin, Veretilo, Volkov, Kislyak, Nekhaychik, Shikavka, Stasevich
Coach: Igor Kriushenko
Germany: Neuer (c) – Ginter, Süle, Tah – Klostermann, Kimmich, Gündogan (Goretzka 81'), Schulz – Reus (Brandt 76') – Sane, Gnabry (Draxler 71')
Unused subs: Trapp, Ulreich, Halstenberg, Hector, Kehrer, Stark, Havertz, Werner
Out: Leno (thumb)
Coach: Marcus Sorg (standing in for Joachim Löw)
As it happened
FULL TIME! BELARUS 0-2 GERMANY
Germany make it two wins from two to go second in Group C. Leroy Sane and Marco Reus scored the goals, though it could have been more. You get the feeling Germany had a couple more gears to go through, if they needed to. Estonia await in Mainz on 11 June...
89' TIME ADDED ON
Four additional minutes to go in Borisov. Thoroughly professional night's work from Germany...
83' SANE OFF THE POST!
It's another peach of a delivery from Matthias Ginter. Leroy Sane pops up between two Belarus defenders to meet it, but his effort crashes against the woodwork. So unlucky!
81' GORETZKA ON
Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka earns his 22nd Germany camp, replacing Gündogan. Goretzka played a key role in Bayern's Bundesliga-DFB Cup double win, scoring nine goals and chiming in with seven assists in 35 appearances in both competitions.
76' REUS MAKES WAY
Germany's second goalscorer, Reus, makes way. On comes new Dortmund teammate Julian Brandt, who produced seven goals and no fewer than 11 assists during a standout campaign for Bayer Leverkusen.
71' GERMANY CHANGE
Former Schalke and Wolfsburg wide man Julian Draxler replaces Serge Gnabry. Belarus have already used up their three subs.
62' GOAL - REUS!
Marco Reus gives Germany breathing space. Gladbach's Matthias Ginter provides the cross from the right. Gnabry swings and misses, but Reus makes no mistake. A bit of luck, but they all count!
54' KLOSTERMANN CHANCE!
Marco Reus and Nico Schulz exchange passes down the left-hand side. Reus doesn't connect with the return ball. In steams Lukas Klostermann, but he drives over on his left foot. What a chance!
52' GERMANY IN CONTROL
The game's being payed very much on Gemany's terms right now, almost exclusively in the Belarus half. Can Gnabry and Co. break down the white wall and grab a second goal?
48' SANE CHANCE
Germany start strongly as Gündogan plays in Sane. He takes one touch too many, though, and a white shirt deflects his eventual shot behind.
Up and running again at the Borisov Arena. No changes from either side.
Germany lead through Leroy Sane's clinical 13th-minute finish. They might have had more, but Belarus weren't without chances of their own. Join us in around 15 minutes for the second half.
38' SLIM PICKINGS
Other than a deflected Ilkay Gündogan effort, there's been little to report in the last few minutes or so. Can Germany strike again before the break?
32' OPPORTUNITY MISSED
Should Sane score here? Probably. He rises well to meet a ball into the box, but his header lacks the necessary power and precision, and the ball goes over. The kind of chance Miroslav Klose would have gobbled up, once upon a time...
Manuel Neuer shows why he's still one of the world's best goalkeepers with a fine reaction save to deny Naumow's header from a corner.
Dortmund new boy Schulz said in the week how he wants to make the left-back spot his own. He scored the winner against the Netherlands, and just forced Gutor into a save with a decent hit on his weaker right foot. That won't harm his chances...
Ooops, spoke to soon there. Belarus break with purpose, forcing the deceptively fast Niklas Süle into evasive action.
26' PASS MASTERS
Germany with nearly 80 per cent possession in Borisov. They've won a couple of corners with it, but have yet to test Gutor since opening the scoring.
18' GERMANY DOMINANT
A quick Germany counter looks to play in Dortmund captain Marco Reus, but he's called back for offside. Things could go south very quickly for Belarus at this rate.
15' KIMMICH ON THE PROWL
Joshua Kimmich has the bit between his teeth as his shot is blocked by Maevski. The Bayern right-back started out as a central midfielder, and appears to be thriving in the role tonight.
13' GOAL - SANE!
Former Schalke academy star Leroy Sane puts Germany in front! The three-time Euro winners press high in the Belarus half and are rewarded as Bayern's Joshua Kimmich slips in Sane. He takes a touch and fires into the bottom corner for a deserved lead!
10' GUTOR SAVES BELARUS!
Germany almost ahead in Borisov! Gnabry and Sane combine well to force a corner. Gnabry smahes an effort goalwards from the ensuing delivery. Gutor can only parry, but the Belarus keeper is there to save the follow-up from Klostermann. Germany on top right now.
7' WING MEN
Lukas Klostermann and Nico Schulz are already causing Belarus problems down the flanks. There's certainly a lot of pace in this Germany side...
3' GINTER DOES HIS JOB
Adventurous start from the hosts as Kovalev wins a free-kick following a foul by Gladbach's Ginter. Gromyko has a go moments later, but big Ginter's there again to make the block.
Under way under the Belarusian floodlights. Come on, Germany!
HERE THEY COME
The teams are out at the Borisov Arena. Belarus are decked in white, with Germany in their change strip of spearmint green.
Germany can go second if they avoid defeat tonight. Belarus are pointless after two matches...
Northern Ireland - played 3, won 3, 9 points
Netherlands - played 2, won 1, lost 1, 3 points
GERMANY - played 1, won 1, 3 points
Estonia - played two, lost 2, 0 points
Belarus - played two, lost 2, 0 points
THE GNABRY FACTOR
You wouldn't rule out Gnabry getting among the goals tonight. The 23-year-old forward registered 10 Bundesliga goals and seven assists in his debut season at Bayern, and has scored two in his last three appearances for Germany and five in six overall.
BUNDESLIGA HEART AND SOUL
Other than Manchester City duo Ilkay Gündogan and Leroy Sane, it's a starting line-up of Bundesliga-based talent, including four players from 2018/19 champions Bayern Munich: Neuer, Süle, Kimmich and Gnabry.
ONE HUNDRED AND COUNTING
Tonight's game represents Germany's 100th Euro qualifier. Will the three-time European champions celebrate with a win?
HAVERTZ WAITING IN THE WINGS
Germany's bench is teeming with star quality, but none shine quite as bright as Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz. The 19-year-old scored 17 Bundesliga goals from midfield in 2018/19, and is expected to win his fourth international cap at some point tonight.
"To play such a season at 19 and score 17 goals is exceptional," Löw said earlier this week. "With Kai Havertz I asked myself after the first time he trained with us whether he could’ve already been with us for a year or two. It seemed as if he’d always played with the others. I’ve seen that very, very rarely with a player before."
Joachim Löw picked tonight's team, but he won't be in the dugout. The Germany coach was taken to hospital earlier in the week after reportedly dropping a dumbbell on his chest in the gym.
Manuel Neuer captains Germany in Borisov. The 33-year-old missed Bayern's last five Bundesliga games of the season with a calf injury, but returned for the Bavarians' DFB Cup final win over RB Leipzig on 25 May. He'll be shielded by a three-man back line of Matthias Ginter, Niklas Süle and Jonathan Tah, with Leipzig's Lukas Klostermann and new Dortmund recruit Nico Schulz providing the width. Joshua Kimmich is partnered by Ilkay Gündogan in the centre of the park, while Marco Reus, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry complete a fearsome attack.
The 2018/19 Bundesliga season is over, but there's still the little matter of UEFA Euro 2020 qualification. Germany won their opening fixture against the Netherlands back in March - can they make it two from two in Belarus? Stay tuned to find out!