Soccer-Germany's Havertz and Werner deliver timely reminder of attacking threat


Soccer Football - UEFA Nations League - Group C - England v Germany - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - September 26, 2022 Germany's Ilkay Gundogan celebrates scoring their first goal with David Raum, Leroy Sane and Timo Werner REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

LONDON (Reuters) - Timo Werner and Kai Havertz may not have convinced Chelsea fans they could be a world-beating strike duo but, reunited in London on Monday, they did enough in Germany's 3-3 draw with England to earn the right to be their country's World Cup spearhead.

Germany had looked toothless in much of their Nations League Group A3 campaign, bar a 5-2 win over Italy, with Thomas Mueller struggling to find his best form and Havertz also off the pace.

Coach Hansi Flick had juggled a few options trying to fix things and after a flat, goalless first half in their final Nations League clash, when Havertz was anonymous and Werner on the bench, he must have started wondering what to do next.

But things took a turn for the better when, after an Ilkay Gundogan penalty had put Germany ahead, substitute Werner swept a terrific pass to Havertz, who curled in a brilliant second goal from the edge of the box.

Werner, back in Germany with his old club Leipzig after a frustrating time at Chelsea, brought his own brand of energy and selfless running, having come on for the second half, and Havertz, perhaps as a result, suddenly looked more lively and popped up in more dangerous positions.

There was little they could do as England found their own golden spell to surge into a 3-2 lead but Havertz was alert three minutes from time to tap in the equaliser after goalkeeper Nick Pope spilled a shot by Serge Gnabry and the Chelsea man tapped in the loose ball.

The last German to score twice at Wembley was Oliver Bierhoff in the Euro 96 final victory over Czech Republic and, though the current strikers have a way to go to match his achievements, their link up was a real positive.

“They played really well together and it was great for Kai to score two and especially his first, which was an amazing goal," Flick said.

“Their tempo was good, Timo’s pass was great and technically it was just a sensational goal."

Flick said he was disappointed to see a 2-0 lead turn into a 3-2 deficit in the space of 13 second-half minutes but focused instead on his own team’s late recovery.

“We were quite stable at 2-0 but England brought on a couple of substitutes that made them better offensively,” he said.

“But we have to look at it positively as well. I said to my players that they showed great courage and never gave up so it was great to come back."

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips; editing by Ken Ferris)

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