Germany has qualified for 19 out of 21 world cups. That amazing record was never in doubt despite losing to the same opponents in the reverse fixture. It all came right in the second half after a wasteful opening half of the game against a North Macedonian side who ran out of ideas in the final third of the pitch as the game wore on. With that win Germany became the first team to book their place in Qatar next year following Romania’s defeat of Armenia. The key to the qualification was the way they settled for a coach who knows the players in and out, transferred the Bayern style to the national side. Flick HAS ALSO BROUGHT THE BEST OUT OF WERNER who was goal shy under Jogi Louw but is slowly regaining his confidence. Germany had the ball possession with Kimmich the player dictating the attacks, the Gnabry pace once again troubling Alioski just as the first game in Germany.
One thing to realize is that Germany does not have the Lahms and the Podolskis of 8 years ago. So settling for a flat back 4 was the sensible and safest option and Flick was proved right. The relatively untried and untested center back pairing of Kehrer and Sule were solid virtually playing from the half way line with Neuer acting more as a sweeper. North Macedonia on the other hand who caused a stir by beating the odds to qualify for Euro 2020, looked resigned to defeat even with the scoreline level at 0-0.Their number 7 Elmas(Napoli) was their likely goal threat with his angled runs although his decision making on whether to pass or shoot were questionable.
Havertz is an excellent player no doubt but as with Mount at Chelsea he needs a good number 10 to combine with and Muller provided that showing what Germany were missing when they sidelined him earlier in the campaign. A whopping 24 shots at goal as the Macedonian goal was laid siege on to just 7 for the home side. They(at 12 points and third in Group) are now in a three way tussle for the play off spot with Romania(13 points and second) and Armenia(fourth with 12 points too0.