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Germany cruise to qualifying win

Germany have beaten Northern Ireland 2-0 in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
Germany cruise to win over Nth Ireland
Photo Source: EPA

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Germany struck twice in four first-half minutes to beat Northern Ireland 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier, securing their best start in a tournament qualification.

Julian Draxler's 13th minute strike put them ahead and Sami Khedira added another goal as Germany killed off the game for their third win in three qualifiers in their best opening to a World Cup or Euro qualification with no goals conceded.

"We did our job. We got the six points we wanted from our (latest) two qualifiers," said Joachim Loew, who equalled former Germany coach Sepp Herberger's record 94 wins.

"Northern Ireland were defending deep in their half and it was at times difficult for us."

"We were in a good run after our win over the Czechs (on Saturday). I wanted two or three goals in the first half to be able to then rest some players."

Germany, who made three times as many passes as the Irish, are top with nine points, two clear of Azerbaijan, who drew 0-0 away to the Czech Republic. The Irish stay third on four points.

Northern Ireland, who battled hard in a 1-0 Euro 2016 group stage defeat by Germany, were no match for the hosts, who had over 75 per cent possession and were never really threatened.

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