Germany, Italy & Sweden win; defective goal delays Switzerland game
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Since World Cup 2018, Serge Gnabry has been involved in 18 goals in 17 appearances for Germany – eight more than any other current Germany player

Serge Gnabry’s 16th-minute strike earned Germany victory in Romania as Joachim Low’s side secured their second successive win in World Cup qualifying Group J.

The Bayern Munich attacker swept home a square ball from Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz, who shone in Bucharest.

Gnabry also had a shot saved superbly by Florin Nita, who then stayed alert to deny Chelsea’s Timo Werner.

Manuel Neuer bravely blocked an effort from Nicolae Stanciu late in the game.

The win in Bucharest means Germany sit at the top of the group on six points, above Armenia on goal difference. Next up for Low’s side is a match at home to North Macedonia on Wednesday.

Italy lead Group C on goal difference from Switzerland following a 2-0 win in Bulgaria, as Roberto Mancini’s men extended their unbeaten run to 24 matches.

Torino captain Andrea Belotti, who started up front alongside Juventus forward Federico Chiesa, scored from the spot just before half-time after he was fouled in the area by Daniel Dimov.

Manuel Locatelli curled in the second in the 82nd minute to all but ensure victory.

Goal rush: officials bring out replacement goals after finding one set on the pitch did not meet the right standards

Switzerland defeated Lithuania 1-0, but kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes because one of the goals was too big at St Gallen’s Kybunpark Stadium.

Reports suggested the goalposts were too high on one side when inspected before the game by match officials. A police officer helped staff remove the goal, which was eventually replaced by a spare set.

The drama did not affect Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri, who scored what was to prove the winner after only two minutes.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic produced an excellent backheel flick to set up Sweden’s opener in their 3-0 win in Kosovo.

The 39-year-old, who returned to international football last week, provided the assist for Ludwig Augustinsson’s opener in the 12th minute.

Alexander Isak and former Sunderland midfielder Seb Larsson, from the spot, scored the other goals for Janne Andersson’s side.

The Swedes lead Group B on six points – two clear of 2010 champions Spain, who earlier beat Georgia 2-1.

Line-ups

Romania

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Nita
  • 4PopescuBooked at 16mins
  • 6Chiriches
  • 3Tosca
  • 22Malino PaulinoSubstituted forAndonie Burcaat 45′minutes
  • 7Stanciu
  • 18Marin
  • 14HagiSubstituted forMaximat 83′minutes
  • 19TanaseSubstituted forCicaldauat 83′minutes
  • 21MihailaSubstituted forManat 66′minutes
  • 13KeseruSubstituted forPuscasat 66′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Mogos
  • 5Nedelcearu
  • 8Cicaldau
  • 9Puscas
  • 10Maxim
  • 11Bancu
  • 12Lazar
  • 15Andonie Burca
  • 16Radu
  • 17Bicfalvi
  • 20Man
  • 23Cretu

Germany

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Neuer
  • 13Klostermann
  • 4Ginter
  • 16Rüdiger
  • 23Can
  • 18Goretzka
  • 6KimmichBooked at 90mins
  • 21Gündogan
  • 10HavertzSubstituted forWernerat 77′minutes
  • 20GnabrySubstituted forNeuhausat 90+2′minutes
  • 19SanéSubstituted forYounesat 90+4′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Max
  • 5Tah
  • 8Musiala
  • 9Werner
  • 11Younes
  • 12Leno
  • 14Neuhaus
  • 17Wirtz
  • 22ter Stegen

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Romania 0, Germany 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Romania 0, Germany 1.

  3. Foul by Leon Goretzka (Germany).

  4. Razvan Marin (Romania) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Substitution, Germany. Amin Younes replaces Leroy Sané.

  6. Joshua Kimmich (Germany) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Timo Werner (Germany) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Foul by Razvan Marin (Romania).

  9. Substitution, Germany. Florian Neuhaus replaces Serge Gnabry.

  10. Attempt missed. Nicolae Claudiu Stanciu (Romania) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is close, but misses to the left.

  11. Attempt missed. Alexandru Maxim (Romania) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Razvan Marin.

  12. Attempt saved. George Puscas (Romania) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alexandru Cicaldau.

  13. Joshua Kimmich (Germany) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Foul by George Puscas (Romania).

  15. Offside, Germany. Joshua Kimmich tries a through ball, but Serge Gnabry is caught offside.

  16. Substitution, Romania. Alexandru Maxim replaces Ianis Hagi.

  17. Substitution, Romania. Alexandru Cicaldau replaces Florin Tanase.

  18. Corner, Romania. Conceded by Antonio Rüdiger.

  19. Foul by Antonio Rüdiger (Germany).

  20. George Puscas (Romania) wins a free kick on the right wing.

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