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2022 World Cup Qualifying - UEFA, Group Stage
  • Serge Gnabry (52')
  • Thomas Müller (81')
  • Ianis Hagi (9')

Late Mueller goal earns 2-1 comeback win for Germany over Romania

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Super-sub Thomas Muller strikes to put Germany in front (0:30)

Thomas Muller taps in a loose ball to give Germany a 2-1 lead over Romania in World Cup qualifying. (0:30)

Substitute Thomas Muller scored an 81st minute winner to complete Germany's 2-1 comeback win over visitors Romania in their 2022 World Cup qualifier on Friday that kept them on course for a spot in next year's tournament.

The Germans, who have now won all four matches under new coach Hansi Flick, lead the standings in Group J with 18 points from seven matches, six ahead of North Macedonia and Armenia.

- UEFA World Cup qualifiers on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)

They could now seal their spot with a win over North Macedonia next week.

"We were engaged but it was not a good feeling going into the break at 1-0. We did get the two goals then," Muller said.

"We know that when we fall behind we can continue to trust each other and do the things that set out to do, and it is good to see it then reflected in the result. It was a good evening for us."

The hosts had the upper hand but it was the visitors who struck first with Ianis Hagi taking on two defenders, slipping the ball through the legs of Antonio Ruediger and then drilling in for the lead in the ninth minute.

Germany had possession and full control, spending most of the first 45 minutes in the Romanian half but lacking some clinical finish, with Serge Gnabry and Leon Goretzka coming close.

Gnabry did find the deserved equaliser in the 52nd, firing in a low shot from the edge of the box for his 20th goal in his 30th international appearance.

"We were about to get a penalty and then suddenly we concede a goal," said Flick, who took over from Joachim Loew earlier this year. "But the team fought, the boys threw everything they had in the game and the fans supported us.

"We were confident, kept trying. Some things in terms of precision were not as we wanted them and we must improve but it was a deserved win. We controlled the game throughout."

The hosts kept combining well as Romania pulled back deeper into their own half and got the winner when Mueller, who had come on midway through the second half, tapped in at the far post after Goretzka headed on a corner.