BUCHAREST: Germany maintained their perfect start in 2022 World Cup qualifying after an early Serge Gnabry goal gave them a 1-0 win over Romania in Group J on Sunday although they missed a string of chances against the home side.
The result left the Germans top of the group on six points from two games ahead of Armenia on goal difference before their next match at home to North Macedonia on Wednesday.
Gnabry scored a 17th-minute winner as he swept the ball home from seven metres after Kai Havertz beat the offside trap on the right flank and squared an inch-perfect pass to the Bayern Munich forward.
Joshua Kimmich rattled the crossbar with a thunderbolt from 30 metres two minutes later and Romania goalkeeper Florin Nita then took centre stage as he made a flurry of saves to deny the 2014 World Cup winners a bigger win.
The subdued Romanians created very little at the other end but midfielder Nicolae Stanciu missed a gilt-edged chance to snatch a draw for the home side when he hit the side-netting from close range in the 90th minute.
Armenia, who beat Iceland 2-0 earlier on Sunday, are at home to Romania on Wednesday while Iceland visit Lichtenstein in the group’s other fixture.
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)