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International Break Recap: Germany 6 - 0 Norway (WCQ 2017)

Kroos looking in top form as ever.

Germany Training And Press Conference Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Germany absolutely dominated Norway with a 6-0 win over the Scandinavians — taking another step closer to the FIFA World Cup next year. Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos was a clear standout and key figure for the offense.

The First Half

The first half of action was undoubtedly one-sided for Die Mannschaft. Germany found themselves up 4-0 in the first half of action. The first 45 found a Real Madrid alumni (Mesut Özil), as well as a current Madrid player, displaying theirs skills. Toni Kroos was indeed a big part of this German offense that was all over the Norwegians. While he didn’t score or have a primary assist in the half, he was a driving force behind the attack which essentially led to two separate goals. The first goal, scored by former Galáctico Mesut Özil, was started by Kroos who passed off to FC Köln’s Jonas Hector and eventually onto the foot of Özil and in the net. Not even a minute later, Kroos missed a goal by shooting to high, which would have made the lead 2-0.

In the 17th minute of play, after several consecutive chances, the Germans scored another goalthrough PSG’s Julian Draxler. An absolutely beautiful sequence started by a headed back-pass from Leipzig’s Timo Werner to Özil and finally to Draxler. It’s worth noting that it’s amazing how well Özil plays when he actually has talent around him.

With two goals in the bag, Germany didn’t stop the pressure, or the scoring. Just three minutes after the second goal, Werner would make his first of two strikes in the half. A great run and pass by Kroos to Bayern’s Thomas Müller and then to Werner accounted for the third goal. Kroos again started a sequence where he made a fabulous pass to Draxler and a shot by Werner that went just wide. As you may have noticed, Norway really didn’t stand out at all. The one real chance they had went high — way above the German net. Werner would strike again in the 40th minute, this time a brilliant cross-pass from Müller that Werner headed into the back of Norway’s net, making it 4-0. Needless to say, the half belonged solely to Germany with some great performances from Kroos, Werner, and Müller.

The Second Half

Just as the half started, Müller was subbed off in favor of Schalke’s Leon Goretzka. And just four minutes in, his presence would already be felt with a goal. You could attribute the sequence once again to Kroos who started it off with a short corner pass. His short pass went to Hector and would eventually end up on the head of Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger and finally to Goretzka. The score now 5-0 for the Germans. Kroos also had a good chance beforehand where that was deflected away by a Norwegian defender.

Germany was not nearly as dominant as they were in the first half, but were still in control. Norway had the ball a little bit more since Germany started to back off the pressure a bit, but the scoring still didn’t stop after Goretzka’s initial goal. Nearing the 80th minute of play, Germany would get their sixth goal and second goal of the second half. With Werner subbed off for Wolfsburg’s Mario Gómez earlier in the half, it would be Gómez scoring the final goal of the match.

The Takeaways

Clearly, even though Norway isn’t a very impressive side, Germany is a force to be reckoned with. There are a lot of youth and veterans mixed in to make a cohesive, threatening squad. There were about four main standouts in this match for me: Kroos, Müller, Draxler, and Werner. Kroos has become a stalwart in the midfield and has only been trending up since the 2014 World Cup. He’s really becoming the next Schweinsteiger for Germany and I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t at least considered for the captaincy in his career. As good as he is for Real Madrid, he’s even better for the national team and dictates the flow of their attack often.

Müller also had himself two assists for the match. While he hasn’t scored in quite a while, he’s as good of a playmaker and passer as he’s ever been. And since Bayern has become a rival in the Champions League for Madrid, it’s important to track how their stars are performing. Draxler, the man of the match, was brilliant as well with a goal and a couple of assists. Should he start with PSG, they are going to be tough if Madrid have to face an attack consisting of him and Neymar. Draxler is going to be a German star if he’s not already.

And, finally, Timo Werner was absolutely brilliant with two goals. He was responsible for several dangerous chances and a second assist on Draxler’s goal. If Madrid isn’t already interested in him, I would suggest him as a future replacement for Benzema. Already a stud, this game proving it further, he’s going to be an elite German scorer in the near future.

And that’s a wrap. Germany is not officially qualified yet because of Northern Ireland’s win over the Czech Republic. If you are interested in following Kroos and the Germans further, they will play Northern Ireland in Belfast sometime in October.

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