Euro 2020: We are not favourites, says Germany's Toni Kroos

Updated: Nov 18, 2019, 12:26 IST | AFP | Monchengladbach

German midfielder Kroos says team must improve despite qualifying for Euro 2020 with 4-0 win over Belarus

Germany's Toni Kroos during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier 
against Belarus in Monchengladbach on Saturday. Pic /AFP
Germany's Toni Kroos during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier against Belarus in Monchengladbach on Saturday. Pic /AFP

Monchengladbach: Toni Kroos struck twice as Germany qualified for the Euro 2020 finals on Saturday by thumping Belarus 4-0 but the Real Madrid star insists there is still room for improvement. A deft back-heeled goal from defender Matthias Ginter and impressive finishing by Leon Goretzka and Kroos gave the Germans a comfortable 3-0 lead early in the second half.

Germany captain Manuel Neuer produced a superb save to keep out Belarus striker Igor Stasevich’s penalty before Kroos dribbled through the defence to claim his second goal seven minutes from time.

Difficult opponent

"Until we went 1-0 up, it is always difficult against an opponent like that," said Kroos. "Overall we did well but at the moment I don’t include us among the favourites for the European title. The important thing is that we play as a team in the March internationals." The result left Germany two points above the Netherlands and means victory tomorrow in Frankfurt over Northern Ireland, who drew 0-0 at home to the Dutch, will send them through as Group C winners.

"We have reached our goal," said Germany boss Joachim Loew. "The team played well, we saw some good combinations out there and four goals. Certainly not everything was perfect but all in all, I am happy," he added.

Loew hails Ginter

Loew singled out Moenchengladbach defender Ginter after the centre-back showed a sublime touch to score his first goal for Germany at his home stadium. "He is very reliable and a very good footballer," said Loew. "It’s great that he scored such a nice goal here."

In the pre-match build-up, Loew had agreed with Kroos that this fledgling Germany team cannot be considered among the favourites for the Euro 2020 title next July.

Other key results

  • Russia 1-4 Belgium
  • Azerbaijan 0-2 Wales
  • Slovenia 1-0 Latvia
  • Israel 1-2 Poland

13
No. of times Germany have qualified for the European Championship

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