Germany qualified for the 2018 World Cup, but that was hardly in doubt. All eyes were on the show, and put on a show did Sebastian Rudy, wasting no time entertaining the crowd in Belfast.
With the ball dribbling free well outside the box, the Bayern Munich midfielder pounced a put all his weight behind an utter RIP, blasting a howitzer into the top-right corner with stunning precision accuracy.
It took 22 appearances, but Rudy picked up his first international goal in stunning fashion. The strike got things going for Germany, who were dominant in the match as they held 73% possession and led 3-0 before a stoppage-time consolation goal for the hosts.
Sandro Wagner scored a curler in the 26th minute to double Germany’s lead, with the shot splitting a pair of defenders on its way in. 22-year-old Josh Kimmich scored a volley from a ridiculously tight angle with time winding down, a strike that deserved applause of its own. All told, Germany bossed the match and looked more and more like the best team in the world.