Sports

Euro Qualifiers: Germany crush N Ireland 6-1

New Delhi, Nov 20 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 11/20/2019 11:56:38 AM IST

Serge Gnabry scored a hat-trick as already-qualified Germany came from a goal down to crush Northern Ireland 6-1 in their final Euro 2020 qualifier to finish top of Group C on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, it was a successful end to a difficult year for Germany, seeking to overhaul the team after last year’s shock World Cup first-round exit and Nations League relegation.

They qualified, having won seven of their eight qualifiers and losing once to the Netherlands.

With qualification already sealed after Saturday’s 4-0 victory over Belarus, Germany showed no nerves and quickly cancelled out Michael Smith’s shock eighth-minute opener for the visitors with Gnabry’s fine turn and shot in the 19th.

Leon Goretzka’s 43rd minute goal put Germany ahead before Gnabry then drilled in their third straight after the restart.

The 24-year-old winger completed his hat-trick on the hour to take his tally to 13 goals in 13 internationals. Goretzka then fired in from 20 metres to crown his own fine performance.

Germany, who also hit the woodwork, looked sharp despite a number of absentees, with the players combining well and offering fans in Frankfurt a good display.

Belgium thrash Cyprus

Christian Benteke and Kevin De Bruyne scored two goals each as Belgium thrashed Cyprus 6-1 in their Euro 2020 Group I qualifier at the King Baudouin Stadium on Tuesday.

Belgium finish top of their pool with a perfect 10 wins from 10 games, scoring 40 goals in the process, as Yannick Carrasco and an own goal from Kypros Christoforou completed the rout of Cyprus.

The visitors had silenced their hosts with an early strike as Nicholas Ioannou drilled the ball into the corner of the net, but the Belgium supporters were soon back on their feet after an exhibition from their side after that.

Carrasco’s excellent pass provided the opportunity for Benteke to level the score, before Cyprus goalkeeper Michael Neofytos somehow allowed De Bruyne’s weak shot to squirm past him.

Carrasco was the provider again as he teed-up De Bruyne to complete a brace, before the former grabbed the goal his performance deserved a minute before the break after burying his shot from Eden Hazard’s pass. There was little let-up in the second period as Belgium continued to dominate, with Christoforou putting the ball into his own net and Benteke adding the sixth.

Wales qualifies 

Wales reached their second straight European Championship finals after a goal in each half by midfielder Aaron Ramsey gave them a 2-0 home win over Hungary in their decisive Group E qualifier on Tuesday.

The Welsh, who reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals, finished runners-up on 14 points from eight games, three behind Croatia who sealed their berth on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Slovakia.

Having previously gone 58 years without reaching a major tournament after the 1958 World Cup, there were joyous scenes at the Cardiff City Stadium as Wales produced a dominant display to wrap up qualification.

The outcome was a triumph for manager Ryan Giggs, who never kicked a ball at a World Cup or European Championship as a player but can now revel in guiding his country to Euro 2020 after taking over from Chris Coleman in January 2018.

 

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