Germany Advance with Euro 2020 Qualifier Win vs. Belarus

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2019

Germany's Toni Kroos, right, and Belarus' Igor Stasevich challenge for the ball during the Euro 2020 group C qualifying soccer match between Germany and Belarus in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Martin Meissner/Associated Press

Germany defeated Belarus 4-0 on Saturday in UEFA 2020 European Championship qualifying to secure their place at next summer's tournament.

The hosts broke the deadlock four minutes before half-time when Matthias Ginter found the back of the net with a slick back-heel from Serge Gnabry's cross.

Leon Goretzka calmly slotted home just four minutes after the restart, and Toni Kroos grabbed a third after 55 minutes.

Belarus' Pavel Nekhajchik was fouled in the box by Robin Koch with 14 minutes remaining, but Manuel Neuer expertly saved Igor Stasevich's penalty.

Kroos completed his brace in the 83rd minute to cap an excellent night for his country, who went top of Group C courtesy of the Netherlands' draw with Northern Ireland in Belfast.

Germany slowly executed their game plan in the first half, dominating possession with patience and craft.

Belarus had produced a strong rearguard action up until Ginter's opener, but the first goal opened the floodgates in the second half.

While the away side continued to compete after the interval, Germany continued to dominate, and Kroos was at the heart of a strong second-half performance. The midfielder set up Goretzka to make it 2-0 four minutes after the break.

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The second goal killed off any thoughts of a Belarusian revival, and Kroos was rewarded for his display with a goal of his own six minutes later.

Neuer compounded a disappointing night for the away team as the Bayern Munich goalkeeper produced a top-class save from Stasevich's penalty with 15 minutes remaining.

There was enough time for Kroos to earn his double in the 83rd minute, sending Germany to the finals with a fourth goal of the night.

                                                                            

What's Next

Both teams are back in action on Tuesday. Germany will host Northern Ireland in their final qualifier, and Belarus travel to Montenegro for an international friendly.