RB Leipzig's Timo Werner rounded off a battling Germany win over Estonia in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying after former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gündogan had broken the deadlock despite playing with 10 men since the 15th minute.
Estonia 0-3 Germany
Goals: 0-1 Gündogan (52'), 0-2 Mets (og 57'), 0-3 Werner (71')
Red cards: Can (15')
An injury-ravaged Germany began very much on the front foot at the A. Le Coq Arena, but on the hosts' first foray forward they caught makeshift centre-back Emre Can in possession and the Juventus man was shown a straight red for bringing down Frank Liivak as the last man. Despite the setback, the 2014 world champions remained in control and continued to push against a deep Estonia defence. Freiburg's Luca Waldschmidt, on his first competitive start for the senior team, tested goalkeeper Sergei Lepmets from range but the closest Die Mannschaft came to scoring was from a free-kick by Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus shortly before half-time that crashed off Lepmets' right-hand post.
Germany's perseverance was rewarded early into the second half, however, when former Dortmund man Gündogan's shot from the edge of the box deflected beyond the goalkeeper. Minutes later it was 2-0 in similar circumstances after former BVB teammate Reus teed up the Manchester City man, this time the deflection going down as an own goal for Karol Mets. Five minutes after coming on for the impressive Waldschmidt, Werner had his second goal of qualifying when found by a long Gündogan ball, cutting inside the recovering defender and blasting past the man on the line. Germany are now level with the Netherlands on 15 points in Group C with two games remaining but are second behind the Dutch by virtue of their head-to-head record.
- Germany have won all five of their meetings with Estonia, scoring 22 goals and conceding just once.
- The two sides hadn't met in 80 years when they faced off in their first Group C qualifier in June. Löw's side ran out 8-0 winners in Mainz, with six players getting on the scoresheet: Reus (x2), Serge Gnabry (x2), Leon Goretzka, Gündogan, Werner and Leroy Sane.
- While impressive, that win was nowhere near Germany's all-time record in a competitive outing. In September 2006 they romped to a 13-0 win over San Marino in Euro qualifying, while way back at the 1912 Olympics they beat Russia 16-0, with Gottfried Fuchs netting a whopping 10 times!
- Löw's men have won all four of their qualifiers away from home during the current campaign, previously picking up three points in the Netherlands (3-2), Belarus (2-0) and Northern Ireland (2-0).
- Germany have qualified for the last 12 editions of the European Championship, a run stretching back to 1972. They have won the competition on three occasions – a record they share with Spain – in 1972 (Belgium), 1980 (Italy) and 1996 (England).
- Can’s red card was the earliest ever by a Germany player.
Estonia: Lepmets – Baranov, Tamm, Mets, Pikk – Antonov – Kams, Ainsalu, Vassiljev (c) (Kait 61'), Liivak (Ojamaa 77') – Sappinen (Zenjov 56')
Unused subs: Meerits, Igonen, Vihmann, Sinyavskiy, Sorga, Kreida, Miller, Kallaste, Teniste
Out: Anier (not selected), Aksalu (arm), Dmitrijev (match fitness), Klavan (not available)
Coach: Karel Voolaid
Germany: Neuer (c) – Can, Süle, Halstenberg – Klostermann, Kimmich, Gündogan, Havertz – Brandt (Amiri 86'), Reus (Serdar 77') – Waldschmidt (Werner 66')
Unused subs: Leno, Ter Stegen, Koch, Rudy, Gnabry
Out: Draxler (foot), Ginter (shoulder), Goretzka (thigh), Hector (muscular), Kehrer (foot), Kroos (thigh), Rüdiger (groin), Sane (cruciate ligament), Schulz (ankle), Stark (illness), Tah (cold)
Coach: Joachim Löw
* Bundesliga players in bold
AS IT HAPPENED
FULL-TIME! ESTONIA 0-3 GERMANY
Three hard-fought but deserved points for Die Mannschaft in Tallinn!
85' ESTONIA 0-3 GERMANY
Werner goes for his brace with a low effort from the edge of the box but it's turned behind by Lepmets.
77' ESTONIA 0-3 GERMANY
Suat Serdar comes on for his competitive Germany debut. The Schalke man replaces Reus of Dortmund.
71' GOAL! ESTONIA 0-3 GERMANY (Werner)
He's been on the pitch only a few minutes and Timo Werner's pace has already had an effect, running onto a long diagonal from Gündogan before cutting inside a defender and firing home Germany's third of the evening.
65' ESTONIA 0-2 GERMANY
With Estonia now coming out of their shell a little, it's perhaps the right time to introduce Timo Werner, who replaces Luca Waldschmidt.
57' GOAL! ESTONIA 0-2 GERMANY (Mets og)
Two goals for Germany, two for Ilkay Gündogan as he's teed up by Reus just inside the box following some neat play. The shot takes a slight deflection past Lepmets but Germany are now two to the good and remain level with the Netherlands at the top of Group C. And the goal has now been given as an own goal by Karol Mets.
52' GOAL! ESTONIA 0-1 GERMANY (Gündogan)
And there is the breakthrough for Germany. The ball bounces around off two Estonia defenders on the edge of the box before Ilkay Gündogan unleashes a powerful hit past Lepmets and into the bottom corner.
49' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
Die Mannschaft try their luck out wide before attempting to go through the very congested central area. Good friends Brandt and Havertz look to combine their way through the packed defence but find their path blocked.
47' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
Same pattern as the first half: Germany in possession before Estonia break. Liivak's effort cutting in from the right is a simple enough take for Neuer diving to his left.
KICK-OFF! ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
We're back underway in this qualifier. Both sides return unchanged for the second half.
HALF-TIME! ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
Germany may be a man down but have still enjoyed the vast majority of possession and come closest through Reus. Nevertheless, it remains goalless at the halfway stage in Tallinn.
44' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
Julian Brandt picks up the ball some 30 yards out and opts to go for goal alone, but it's well over.
40' OFF THE POST! ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
It is the Dortmund captain to take and he loops it over the Estonia wall, but Lepmets can only watch as the ball bounces back off his right-hand post.
38' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
Nikita Baranov upends Waldschmidt a few yards outside the edge of the box and is shown yellow. Marco Reus looks like he fancies this one...
37' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
Plenty more power behind this one from Vassiljev from 30 yards, but this time it's the accuracy that lets him down.
30' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
Neuer is, to an extent, called into action for the first time but only to fall onto a weak effort from Estonia captain Konstantin Vassiljev.
30' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
It's an interesting tactic to be time wasting with an hour to go, but that's what Bulgarian referee Georgi Kabakov believes Lepmets is doing so shows a yellow card to the goalkeeper.
25' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
Waldschmidt has scored four of his last seven Bundesliga goals from outside the box so tries to do the same for his first Germany goal, but goalkeeper Sergei Lepmets gets down to his left to save.
23' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
While Can had started on the right of Süle in defence, it now looks like Kimmich has slotted in to fill the gap on the left of his Bayern teammate, but with Germany still controlling the possession that position is by no means fixed.
18' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
Karol Mets has his head in his hands as he fires over at the far post from a corner. He had time but failed to even test Neuer in goal.
14' RED CARD! ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
Germany cannot believe it but former Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen man Emre Can is given his marching orders for sliding in and taking down Frank Liivak on the edge of the box as last man. The visitors will now have to play for the remaining 75 minutes with 10 men.
13' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
We do get the first shot but it's not on target as Gündogan collected a headed clearance on the edge of the box and fires over.
11' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
Despite all of Germany's possession (67%), we're still yet to see an effort on goal, and won't see one yet as Lukas Klostermann's left-footed cross is wildly overhit.
7' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
It's perhaps no surprise that Estonia are sitting deep with men behind the ball. As Germany switch it from side to side, the hosts drop into a six-man defence. Perhaps that is the reason for Waldschmidt's inclusion over the pace of Timo Werner, who would have no room to run into.
4' ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
Germany have had all the ball in these opening few minutes and are comfortably passing it around. It still isn't entirely clear, however, how they're playing. At times it looks like a back four but Marcel Halstenberg is staying very high and wide, at time Joshua Kimmich looks to drop in to the left of Niklas Süle in a possible three-man defence.
KICK-OFF! ESTONIA 0-0 GERMANY
We're underway on the Baltic coast for this Euro qualifier!
The teams are out at the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn as they prepare to belt out their national anthems.
WORLD CHAMPION RETURNS
The Germany team that played against Argentina during the week was the first since the country won the 2014 FIFA World Cup not to feature any player that lifted the trophy in Brazil. Today, there is just one in the form of goalkeeper and captain Neuer. Take the 33-year-old out of the equation and this Germany team has an average age of just 24.8.
FLUID FRONT THREE
Joachim Löw has gone some way to explaining his team selection: “Gnabry had problems after the Argentina game, he noticed things in the final training session and we did not want to risk anything. I expect the three players behind the striker, namely Havertz, Brandt and Reus, to rotate positions and to try to get into positions to score.”
It’s a hint to how his side are supposed to line up but doesn’t quite clear up the shape the six players between them and Manuel Neuer are going to take.
WHO IS LUCA WALDSCHMIDT?
He was nicknamed “il bomber” during the summers U21 Euros in Italy and plays a bit like Germany legend Lukas Podolski, but who exactly is Die Mannschaft’s new striker Luca Waldschmidt? We’ve got all you need to know about Freiburg’s sharp shooter right HERE.
AS IT STANDS
As it is in the Bundesliga, things are also tight at the top in qualifying Group C. The Netherlands currently lead the way on 15 points after their 2-1 win over Belarus a few minutes ago. Germany are currently level with Northern Ireland on 12 points but have this game in hand and will go top with a win by a two-goal margin tonight.
THREE CHANGES FOR GERMANY
There were always going to be changes following last week’s friendly against Argentina, but Joachim Löw’s long list of injury problems means he has only been able to bring in three fresh faces.
Captain Manuel Neuer returns in goal as planned for Marc-Andre ter Stegen, while Marco Reus and Ilkay Gündogan come in for Robin Koch and Serge Gnabry, who is among the substitutes despite a muscular issue. The official formation is down as a 3-4-2-1 but with Niklas Süle the only out-and-out centre-back on the pitch, we’ll have to wait and see exactly how Germany line-up.
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