Müller, Musiala & Co. book World Cup place, win for Choupo
Thanks to two assists from Thomas Müller and a goal off the bench from Jamal Musiala, Germany have booked their ticket to the 2022 World Cup. The 32-year-old FCB pro set up Kai Havertz's goal (50') and the first of Timo Werner's two goals on the night (70'/73') before Musiala, who had come on as a substitute with 15 minutes to go, scored his first international goal for Germany in the 83rd minute. Armenia's defeat the same evening now means that Germany can no longer be ousted from first place in Group J qualifying.
Germany head coach Hansi Flick presided over a Bayern-heavy DFB side in the rain in North Macedonia's Skopje. Alongside Müller, six FCB players were in the starting line-up in the form of returning captain Manuel Neuer, Niklas Süle, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry. Musiala (74') was given a quarter of an hour runout, whilst Leroy Sané was given a rest and did not feature.
Strong Bayern teamwork breaks the deadlock
In the first half, the DFB team dominated the game but struggled to break down a deep home defence. Werner (45+3') created the best chance of the first 45 minutes with a shot that hit the post just before the interval. Immediately after the break, Gnabry then sent his team-mate Müller on his way with an outstanding through ball: Alone in front of goal, the Bavarian selflessly squared it to Havertz (50') for the simplest of finishes.
In the 70th minute, Müller then played the ball forward with a sumptuous volley on the turn to Werner (70'), who scored to make it 2-0. A short time later and the Chelsea forward had doubled his evening's tally (73'). The final goal was scored by super-sub Musiala. The 18-year-old was free to score after Karim Adeyemi, who had just come on as a substitute, won the ball. A good 4-0 scoreline then for Hansi Flick's side, who can now prepare for the World Cup in their two remaining qualifying matches in November, against Liechtenstein and in Armenia.
Croatia secure play-off place at least
Croatia and Josip Stanišić took a big step in the hunt to qualify for Qatar 2022 on Monday evening, with the nation now guaranteed at least second in Group H thanks to a 2-2 (1-2) draw with Slovakia in the Croatian city of Osijek. Just three days after his senior international debut, Josip Stanišić was back in the XI for the 2018 World Cup runners-up, before being replaced after a good 67 minutes.
Ivan Schranz (20') gave the visitors the lead, before Andrej Kramarić equalised just five minutes later. Just before the break Lukas Haraslin (45') put Slovakia back in front, only for Croatian legend Lula Modric to score halfway through the second half (71'). The point leaves Croatia on 17 points with 2 games to go, unassailably clear of third-placed Slovakia on 10. Having therefore already secured at least a play-off spot after the group stage, Croatia will look to go one better and qualify automatically in the next round of World Cup qualifiers, in November. The side will head to lowly Malta first, before going head-to-head with current first-placed side Russia in Croatia (19 points). Two wins will see Croatia book an automatic spot at next year's World Cup.
Another game, another win for 'Indomitable Lions'
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and his Cameroon side are still on course to challenge to make it to Qatar 2022! On Monday afternoon, the Indomitable Lions beat Mozambique 1-0 in Tangier, Morocco. Cameroon had already won the first leg on Friday against the East Africans 3-1 thanks to a brace from the Bayern forward, but it was Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui (68') who was the man of the match this time with his winner. Choupo-Moting was in the starting eleven and was substituted at half-time.
With nine points from four games, Cameroon are currently in second place in their qualifying group, with only the first-placed team travelling to the World Cup in Qatar. The group will be decided in mid-November, when Cameroon first play Malawi (3 points), currently third in the group, and then host leaders Côte d'Ivoire (10) in the final batch of group matches.
Goalless draw for Davies' Canada
On Monday night, the Canadian national team, including Bayern's Alphonso Davies, could not get past Jamaica in a goalless draw. Davies was on the pitch for the full 90 minutes, and, despite a number of good opportunities to score, he was unable to prevent a draw against the team bottom in the North and Central American qualifying group. The fourth draw in the five games saw Canada (7 points) slip to fourth in the play-off table. They will now play third-placed Panama (8) in Toronto on Thursday night.
Bayern's French players celebrated UEFA Nations League triumph on Sunday evening.