Germany picked up their obligatory group win over Gibraltar but the expected flurry of goals failed to arrive as they only managed to score four without reply in Nuremberg. Thomas Muller was on target twice with Mario Gotze raising Germany's lead to three before half-time An own goal from Yogan Santos midway through the second half made it four but World Cup winners Germany were unable to add any more. Gibraltar played, as expected, with 10 men behind the ball, leaving just Liam Walker to wait for very rare touches inside the Germany half. It seemed to be going according to plan for Germany too when Shkodran Mustafi's cross from the right struck the near post and fell out for Muller to slot in to open the scoring in the 12th minute. The floodgates did not open, though, because Gibraltar's wall of players were holding them closed well, although a powerful cross from Karim Bellarabi almost ended in the back of the net off a Gibraltar defender. The hosts doubled their lead just shy of the half-hour mark when Gotze put Lukas Podolski in down the left and his cross was an open invitation for Muller to tuck in his second of the game. Only nine minutes passed before Germany go their third with Max Kruse setting up Gotze to skip past the last defender and send his shot diagonally into the far corner. Walker's moment came just before half-time when his lobbed shot was turned behind by Manuel Neuer. Germany coach Joachim Low covered his face almost in shame as his side, the world champions, went within inches of conceding to Gibraltar. A Gibraltar player did get his name on the scoresheet midway through the second half when Santos turned Podolski's dangerous cross from the left into his own goal, but still those floodgates remained closed. Having lost 7-0 to Poland and the Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar will take pride from their performance in Nuremberg, conceding only four to the world champions who did their duty, but little more than that.
World Cup 2018