World Cup qualifiers: Gnabry & Lewandowski score, Alaba assist
Qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is the focus of attention in European football at the moment. Eleven FC Bayern players were in action on Sunday night. fcbayern.com provides a summary and shows how the men from Munich fared.
Gnabry seals victory for Germany
Following the 3-0 victory against Iceland, Germany were able to win their second match against Romania (1-0). Once again, the Bayern players impressed and were a crucial factor in picking up the three points. Serge Gnabry scored the only goal of the game on 16 minutes. The impressive Romanian keeper Florian Nita pulled off numerous saves to deny further goals for Germany. Manuel Neuer held on to the three points late when he saved from George Pușcaș.
"We could have kept it more simple and we were lucky in the end that we didn't concede the equaliser. We just have to close games down earlier. We dominated the match to a great extent," said Joshua Kimmich in assessing the game. Germany coach Joachim Löw kept faith with his Bayern players against Romania. A day after his 35th birthday, Neuer led the 2014 World Cup winners onto the pitch as captain with Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sané and goalscorer Gnabry also in the starting eleven, Jamal Musiala remained on the bench. Niklas Süle did not travel to Bucharest due to injury. A win against North Macedonia on Wednesday, 31 March (20:45 CEST) would represent a perfect start to the World Cup qualifiers. Germany are unbeaten and level on points with Armenia the top of Group J.
World Cup winners France win – Bayern trio rested
France started their title defence campaign on Wednesday with a draw against Ukraine (1-1) and were able to celebrate a 2-0 win against Kazakhstan on Sunday. Benjamin Pavard was rested on his 25th birthday as were Lucas Hernández and Kingsley Coman, but he did make a late appearance as a substitute. The former Dortmund player Ousmane Dembélé (19’) and an own goal from Sergei Maly ensured victory for the Équipe Tricolore. France are top of Group D with four points from two games. The titleholders complete their current round of international fixtures on Wednesday, 31 March (20:45 CEST) with the qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo.
Lewandowski scores for Poland in every game too
After Robert Lewandowski helped secure a point for Poland with his goal against Hungary (3-3) on Thursday, the FCB top scorer also netted in the 2-0 win against Andorra. The FIFA World Player 2020 put his team ahead on the half-hour mark and added a second on 55 minutes. Karol Świderski (88’) rounded off the scoring. With four points from two games, Lewandowski & Co. are currently second in Group I behind England. Poland have the third qualifier on Wednesday, 31 March (20:45 CEST) in the top match in London.
Captain Alaba with assist in win against Faroe Islands
David Alaba captained Austria in Vienna in a 3-1 win against the Faroe Islands. Leverkusen’s Aleksandar Dragović (30’), Hoffenheim’s Christoph Baumgartner (37’) and Stuttgart’s Sasa Kalajdzic (44’) from an Alaba assist turned the game round for Austria before the break after Sonni Nattestad (19') put the visitors ahead. That means Austria have four points after two games (2-2 in the opener against Scotland) and they are currently second in Group F behind Denmark (six points). The third qualifier on Wednesday, 31 March (20:45 CEST) is against the Scandinavians.
Alphonso Davies was also in action overnight. Here is how his first game went: