Germany started their road to Brazil with a routine 3-0 win over the Faroe Islands.

It could have been more had goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen not produced a stunning display, but in the end they had to settle for three goals, one from Mario Gotze and Mesut Ozil's brace, to do the job.

Recent history has dictated that Germany have steamrollered their way through qualifying and this tie had all the makings of another drubbing.

The tipsters had not bargained for Nielsen, though, with the Faroe Islands goalkeeper, once of Manchester City, on a one-man mission to deny them.

Nielsen was doing his best to give a demonstration of his skillset, denying Thomas Muller with seven minutes gone. Sami Khedira then hit wide, before the Real Madrid midfielder's drive was brilliantly tipped around the post by the stopper.

Marco Reus was next to warm Nielsen's palms, with Muller trying again from the edge of the box as the story became a familiar one. Lazio striker Miroslav Klose, normally the go-to man, had no answer either as he could not pass Nielsen's frame before, with 28 minutes gone, Gotze did, pouncing on a loose ball and catching the 'keeper cold.

Sensing a sea change, Klose took aim with no reward, while Muller soon found that going a goal behind had done little to weaken Nielsen's resolve as he patted away his hit.

The Faroes even had a chance of their own, Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker clearing Jonas Tor Naes' header from under his own bar, and Germany headed to the break perplexed as to how they were in such a precarious position.

Muller tried to rectify that after the restart but put a header wide, with Reus doing the same with a shot, before Ozil gave Germany some breathing space. He took in Muller's pass with 54 minutes on the clock and tucked under Nielsen to make it two, with the same man then blazing over from the edge of the box.

Even at 2-0 down Nielsen continued to produce heroics, tipping Ozil's strike round the post, but the Real Madrid man would not be denied his brace, tucking home Reus' pass with 71 minutes gone.

His one-man assault then saw him denied a hat-trick by the goalkeeper and, with the result secured, Germany were content to see things out with just the three goals to their name.