The German national soccer team defeated Israel 2-0 Saturday, in an international friendly at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena in Sinsheim, on the strength of two goals from Chelsea stars Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.
After a couple of key saves from Israeli goalkeeper Ofir Marciano, Havertz finally broke the scoreless tie in the 36th minute with a header from a corner. It was his 14th goal for the national side this season.
Germany added one more goal before the half ended, when Werner scored on a deflection off a free kick from just outside the box.
That would be the extent of the scoring, as after the Premier League pair scored their first-half goals, Germany’s stand-in captain Thomas Mueller and Israel substitute Yonatan Cohen both failed to convert late penalty attempts.
While the score was close, Germany was fairly dominant on the pitch, despite missing several key players including midfielder/right-back Joshua Kimmich, defender Antonio Rudiger, and winger Serge Gnabry.
Germany head coach Hansi Flick has now won his first eight internationals.
— ISRAEL FA (@ISRAELFA) March 26, 2022
“On the whole, it was a good performance from us for the first game of the new year,” Werner told broadcaster ZDF.
The match at the home of German soccer team TSG 1899 Hoffenheim was the fifth time the German national team has played Israel in a friendly, according to soccer site 11v11, with Germany winning all five of those matchups.
Twenty years ago, Israel received a thrashing at the hands of the German soccer team, losing 7-1 in embarrassing fashion. That German team would go on the 2002 FIFA World Cup final behind the stellar play of goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, before ultimately falling to Brazil and star striker Ronaldo.
Germany will now face the Netherlands Tuesday in Amsterdam. The team is looking to avenge a shocking 2018 World Cup, in which they did not even make it out of the group stage.
Israel will host Romania on Tuesday at Netanya Stadium.
AFP contributed to this article.