2022 World Cup qualifiers: Germany beats Romania to top Group J

The result left the Germans top of the group on six points from two games ahead of Armenia on goal difference. Germany will face North Macedonia next.

Germany head coach Joachim Low congratulates Matthias Ginter at the end of the World Cup 2022 Group J qualifying match between Romania and Germany.   -  AP

Germany maintained its perfect start in the 2022 World Cup qualifying after an early Serge Gnabry goal gave it a 1-0 win over Romania in Group J on Sunday.

The result left the Germans top of the group on six points from two games ahead of Armenia on goal difference. Germany will face North Macedonia in its next match at home on Wednesday.

The Germans also kept a second successive clean sheet after Thursday's 3-0 home win over Iceland. But it could have been punished for its profligacy as Romania midfielder Nicolae Stanciu missed a 90th-minute sitter.

Germany coach Joachim Loew conceded his team plunged into a tense finish after failing to add to its tally in the second half.

United States misses Olympics after semifinal loss to Honduras  

"We worked hard for the ball and had some good moves, but we have to criticise the way we used our chances," he said. "We could have made it a lot easier by scoring the second goal.

"Maybe we did not play enough balls behind their defence. We also could have had more runs behind, and that's something we can improve on."

Gnabry added: "We were through one on one versus the goalkeeper three, four times, but failed to convert.

Match official tests COVID-19 positive at CONCACAF Olympic qualifier  

"The most important thing for us is three points. We had so many counter-attacks in the second half but failed to make it 2-0 and made things difficult for ourselves."

The visitor pegged back Romania from the start and came close twice before Gnabry struck in the 17th minute as he swept the ball home from seven metres after Kai Havertz squared an inch-perfect pass to the Bayern Munich forward.

Joshua Kimmich rattled the crossbar with a thunderbolt from 30 metres two minutes later. Romania goalkeeper Florin Nita then took centre stage as he made a flurry of saves to deny the 2014 World Cup winner a bigger win.

Sam Kerr double puts Chelsea two points clear of Man City in WSL  

He palmed away a Leon Goretzka shot, tipped a Gnabry solo effort around the post and denied Ilkay Gundogan before Leroy Sane poked the ball wide from two metres as Romania struggled to cope with Germany's pace.

Nita thwarted substitute Timo Werner in the 80th minute with another fine stop before Romania finally came to life in the last 10 minutes of the lopsided contest.

George Puscas shot straight at Germany keeper Manuel Neuer after turning his marker twice with neat footwork before Stanciu hit the side-netting from close range as he burst into the penalty area.

Armenia, which also made it two wins out of two with a 2-0 defeat of Iceland earlier on Sunday, is at home to Romania on Wednesday. Lichtenstein suffered a 5-0 drubbing at North Macedonia and hosts Iceland in the group's other fixture.