A brace from Thomas Müller and a Toni Kroos goal saw Germany cruise past Czech Republic in their 2018 World Cup qualification match in Hamburg.
Müller opened the scoring with the hosts’ first effort of the first half and Kroos the second, before the former added another from a Jonas Hector cross.
The game was relatively uneventful in the first ten minutes, with a sharp challenge from Mats Hummels to deny Matěj Vydra a shooting opportunity, whilst the hosts enjoyed plenty of possession in the Czech Republic half.
However, just like world champions should, Germany made their first chance count through their ever-reliable talisman Müller. After the visitors lost the ball, the Germans countered quickly, with Mesut Özil and Mario Götze exchanging passes before the former managed to nudge it into the Bayern Munich forward’s path, who finished coolly into the corner.
The domination from the hosts didn’t stop there, but Mats Hummels and Jérôme Boateng’s influence on the game was a vital cog in the machine this evening. Nine minutes after the opener, the latter played a lovely long ball over the top to Götze, who managed to knock it into the direction of Julian Draxler, who, after spinning, curled his effort just wide.
Three minutes later, Müller was in the thick of it again, drawing a sharp low one-handed save from Tomáš Vaclík after another Boateng long ball was poorly dealt with by the Czech Republic defence.
However, the hosts really ought to have doubled their advantage soon after, but Götze’s dink after a one-two with Müller went just wide of the far post.
Eight minutes later, the duo were involved again, this time the Borussia Dortmund star laying it off to Draxler, whose cute chip was blocked by the goalkeeper, before the rebound was fired over by Müller.
Nevertheless, the hosts managed to double their lead soon after the restart, with Joshua Kimmich’s low cross precisely swept home by Kroos. Ten minutes later Özil could have made it three, but after being played in by Draxler, who had intercepted a Czech square pass, he saw his effort well blocked by Tomáš Sivok.
Manuel Neuer had nothing to do in the first hour of the game, but just after the aforementioned mark he was forced into a smart save after a powerful strike from Bořek Dočkal. Three minutes later, Germany eliminated any unlikely Czech comeback, with Müller calmly sweeping home Jonas Hector’s low cross.
Kimmich seemed determined to continue his excellent goalscoring form, but he was twice denied by Vaclík in the match, firstly from a drive from an acute angle one minute before the break, before having a header palmed away following a cross from substitute Benedikt Höwedes seven minutes from the end.
The Schalke defender should have converted at least one of the chances presented to him by fellow replacement İlkay Gündoğan, but after miscuing his first one wide, the Czech Republic goalkeeper denied the defender, but it made little difference to the outcome and the subsequent repercussions in Group C.