Germany became the first country after host Qatar to qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup with a 4-0 win against North Macedonia on Monday.
Kai Havertz opened the scoring for the visiting side, which suffered a shock defeat to North Macedonia in March, before two goals from Timo Werner and one from Jamal Musiala wrapped up a comfortable victory in Skopje.
The result, coupled with Armenia’s failure to beat Romania, handed four-time world champion Germany a berth at the World Cup for the 20th time; only Brazil has made more appearances with 21.
“We’re really pleased to have come through qualifying. And now, obviously, we want to follow that up by winning the World Cup next year,” said Chelsea forward Havertz.
“For Germany, the main aim is always to lift the trophy.”
The win on Monday was Germany’s seventh victory of this World Cup qualifying campaign, the only defeat coming against North Macedonia earlier this year.
Havertz slotted into an open net on 49 minutes for Germany’s first goal, before Werner grabbed two goals in quick succession: a powerful shot following a Thomas Muller flicked pass and a curling effort from the edge of North Macedonia’s area.
The 18-year-old Musiala then rounded off the scoring with a calm finish – his first goal for Germany.
“We can’t get ahead of ourselves,” said midfielder Leon Goretzka.
“We need to continue to grow as a team but we’re on the right track to get back to the top of the tree in world football. And in Hansi Flick, we’ve got the right coach to be able to do just that.”
After winning its fourth World Cup in 2014, Germany suffered an early exit at the 2018 edition of the tournament and failed to progress past the group stages.