Flick’s seventh heaven as ‘Die Mannschaft’ down Armenia

Flick’s seventh heaven as ‘Die Mannschaft’ down Armenia

Germany made it seven wins from seven games under Hansi Flick to continue their best-ever start with a national team coach, following a routine 4-1 victory over Armenia in a FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Kai Havertz broke the deadlock in the 15th minute with a deft left-footed from Jonas Hofmann’s cross. Leroy Sané looked to get in on the act after being teed up by Hofmann, but the Bayern Munich man’s effort was superbly pushed to safety by Stanislav Buchnev. 

Chances were few and far between for the hosts, but Eduard Spertsyan should have done much better with a close-range effort which he skied over the bar. There was drama in first-half stoppage time when the VAR encouraged referee François Letexier to view the pitchside monitor following Taron Voskanyan’s challenge on Florian Neuhaus inside the box. 

A penalty was awarded and İlkay Gündoğan dispatched the subsequent spot-kick with ease to make it 2-0 to ‘Die Mannschaft’ at HT.

The second half began with a gift for Gündoğan, when his tame shot from the edge of the box inexplicably slipped through Buchnev’s grasp five minutes after the restart to make it 3-0. But there was a sting in the tail, as Neuhaus was involved in a penalty decision at the other end of the pitch after his challenge on Davit Terteryan saw Letexier point to the spot once more. 

Skipper Henrikh Mkhitaryan stepped up to score from 12 yards past Marc-André ter Stegen just a minute shy of the hour mark. The hosts’ joy was short lived though, and Hofmann ruthlessly punished some indecisive Armenian defending with a clinical finish past Buchnev at his near post in the 65th minute.

The result ensured already-qualified Germany finished off their qualification campaign in style as runaway Group H winners with nine victories from 10 games, while Armenia can reflect on a respectable fourth-place finish.
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