Another case of "job done". Workmanlike Germany take the points in Belfast

Germany overcame a bright start from hosts Northern Ireland in Belfast, sealing the win and the three points with two second-half strikes. It was comfortable in the end, but without keeper Manuel Neuer in excellent form things could have got rather messy early.

Neuer did well to deny Connor Washington from close range after a loose back pass from Toni Kroos, and moments later Washington was unable to reach the rebound after a Stuart Dallas cross was parried by the FC Bayern München custodian. At the other end, Norn Iron keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell showed he could do what the great Neuer could do, advancing well to block efforts from Timo Werner and Niklas Süle.

With fullback Matthias Ginter having to withdraw five minutes before the break, Germany needed to start the second half better than they had done the the first. Left-back Marcel Halstenberg duly obliged, smashing home a spectacularly left-footed volley after a smart headed assist from Werner.

From that point Germany controlled the match, but were unable to convert opportunities into goals. Right-back Lukas Klostermann blazed a shot over the target, and Peacock-Farrell dived brilliantly to his left to deny Werner. There were chances for the hosts, with a Dallas shot skidding just wide of the far post.

Joachim Löw’s side had to wait until stoppage time to make sure of the points. Collecting a short pass from sub Kai Havertz, the in-form Serge Gnabry burst down the right before calmly sliding the ball into the bottom left corner of the net from a tight angle.

v Northern Ireland, Windsor Park, Belfast, 09.09.2019
Northern Ireland

2-0 (0-0)
Halstenberg 48., Gnabry 90+3. / –

Germany: Neuer (c) – Klostermann, Ginter (40. Tah), Süle, Halstenberg – Kimmich, Kroos, Gnabry, Reus (85. Can), Brandt – Werner (68. Havertz)

Northern Ireland: Peacock-Farrell – Dallas, Cathcart, J. Evans, Lewis – Davis (c), McNair, Saville (70. Magennis) – C. Evans, Washington (83. Lavery), McGinn (59. Whyte)

Referee: Daniele Orsato (Italy)
Assistants: Alessandro Giallatini (Italy), Fabiano Preti (Italy)
Fourth Official: Daniele Doveri (Italy)
Referee Assessor: Markus Nobs (Switzerland)

Yellow Cards: Gnabry 68. / McNair 43., Saville 55.
Red Cards: – / –

Ball Possession: 74% / 26%
Attempts on Target/Blocked: 16 / 2
Attempts off Target: 5 / 3
Corners: 7 / 4
Fouls Committed: 10 / 9

Attendance: 18,104

Another case of “job done”. Workmanlike Germany take the points in Belfast

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