Belarus 0 Germany 2: Sane and Reus see off hosts

By Jamie Smith 9 June 2019 1569
Belarus 0 Germany 2: Sane and Reus see off hosts

Leroy Sane and Marco Reus scored as Germany won 2-0 away to Belarus in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Germany struggled for creativity at the Borisov Arena on Saturday despite a star-studded line-up, but Sane's first-half strike set up the Group C victory.

Manchester City forward Sane - linked with a move to Bayern Munich - finished coolly to make it 1-0 and Reus struck to settle matters after the interval.

Aleksandr Gutor made a smart block to keep out Serge Gnabry's drive as Germany started well, but the Belarus goalkeeper was beaten in the 12th minute.

Joshua Kimmich slipped a pass through to Sane, who cut inside a defender to smash home.

Belarus rallied, though, and Lukas Klostermann made a superb block to deny Stanislav Dragun a clear strike, with Manuel Neuer tipping Nikita Naumov's header over from the resulting corner.

Despite not getting out of second gear, Germany doubled their advantage in the 62nd minute.

Matthias Ginter bisected the Belarus back line with an incisive pass from the right and Reus burst into the box and slammed his finish past goalkeeper Gutor.

Germany pushed to extend their lead in the closing stages but when Ginter delivered a fine cross into the box Sane saw his header bounce back off the foot of the post.

 

What does it mean? Germany scrape another victory

Germany needed a late Nico Schulz goal to see off Netherlands 3-2 in their Group C opener and another narrow victory ensured they still have a perfect record in the section.

But they lacked fluency and after a dreadful World Cup last year there remains a lot of work to do for Joachim Low, who was absent due to injury, with Marcus Sorg instead taking charge.


Kimmich shines in midfield role

Fielded in the centre of the pitch rather than in his usual position at right-back, Kimmich ran the game for Germany.

The Bayern star has indicated he prefers a midfield berth and made his case to play there in style by stylishly creating Sane's goal.

Kimmich's 158 touches was by far the most on the pitch, as was the 137 passes he recorded - 94.2 per cent of which reached their target.


Neuer gets away with latest theatrics

Barring an excellent reaction save to deny Naumov, Germany captain Neuer did not have much to do in goal. But he still managed to get himself in a tight spot by dribbling towards the corner flag, the goalkeeper escaping danger with a clever turn.

It appears he has not learned from his humiliation when he was caught well up the pitch at the World Cup as defending champions Germany crashed out.

What's next?

Germany continue their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign at home to Estonia on Tuesday, with Belarus hosting Group C leaders Northern Ireland on the same day.

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