Germany 5-1 Azerbaijan: Emre Can caps huge victory with sublime effort as Die Mannschaft turn on the class
- Germany pulled off a commanding victory over Azerbaijan in Kaiserslautern
- Leon Goretzka opened the scoring with an audacious backheeled effort
- Azerbaijan shocked the hosts by finding an equaliser through Ramil Sheydaev
- Sandro Wanger put Germany back in front as the second half resumed
- Substitute Antonio Rudiger then added a third as Germany began to dominate
- The fourth goal came courtesy of Leon Goretzka completing a brace
- Emre Can capped off the rout with a sublime effort from distance
- The Germans lost defenders Niklas Sule and Shkodran Mustafi to injury in the tie
Germany, who had already secured qualification for next year’s finals in Russia, needed an hour to hit their stride despite an early lead through the 22-year-old Goretzka, already a target for several top European clubs.
They made sure of the three points and a maximum 30 in Group C with a strong second half performance, scoring four more goals after a brief Azeri equaliser.
Emre Can capped off victory with his first international goal – a sublime, long range effort
The Liverpool man was mobbed by his team-mates after adding the finishing touches
Antonio Rudiger leaps highest to add another goal to Germany’s growing margin
Sandro Wagner put his side back ahead and the goals soon began to flow for Germany
The Germans equalled Spain’s record from the 2008-9 qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup with their 10th victory but they could boast an even better goal difference than the Spaniards.
Germany, who made seven changes to their lineup after the 3-1 win in Belfast against Northern Ireland that secured their qualification, went ahead through Goretzka’s superb and powerful eighth minute backheel.
Sandro Wagner should have doubled the lead on the half-hour mark but his casual effort was palmed onto the post by the keeper.
Instead it was the hosts who scored, briefly stunning the home crowd, when Ramil Sheidaev fired in from a tight angle to complete a quick break in the 34th minute.
Leon Goretzka opened the scoring in the tie with an audacious backheeled effort on goal
The German star executed the hit to perfection and cause the Azerbaijan defenders unaware
The opposition goalkeeper could only look on as Goretzka’s effort nestled in the back of the net
The 22-year-old wheeled away in joyous celebration after breaking the deadlock for Germany
Azerbaijan remained alert and shocked Germany with an equaliser courtesy of Ramil Sheydaev
Sheydaev was mobbed by his team-mates after pulling the visitors back into the tie
Germany were dealt a blow when Shkodran Mustafi went down in visible agony
Coach Joachim Loew’s initial plans to use the game as a first test en route to their title defence went out the window with first-half injuries to Niklas Suele and Shkodran Mustafi.
Yet his team quickly finished off the game with Wagner grabbing his fifth goal in his fifth international in the 54th minute and Antonio Ruediger scoring 10 minutes later.
The 22-year-old Goretzka then slipped into the box to tap in his second goal of the evening in the 66th minute as the Azeri defence collapsed before Emre Can capped the rout with a thundering 25-metre strike nine minutes from time.
The Arsenal man had to be helped from the field and may face a spell on the sidelines
It was a double blow for Die Mannschaft who also lost fellow defender Niklas Sule to injury