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Germany keep Euro 2020 qualification on track

Germany keep Euro  2020 qualification on track
Players of Germany and Estonia in action during their Euro 2020 qualifier match.
TALLINN, Oct 14 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 10/14/2019 12:23:25 PM IST

Ilkay Gundogan scored two second-half goals to help 10-man Germany claim a 3-0 win away to lowly Estonia in Sunday’s Euro 2020 qualifier despite the early dismissal of Emre Can.

Germany won 8-0 when the sides met in Mainz last June, but the visitors got into trouble when Can was sent off after just 14 minutes in Tallinn for a foul as the last man.

After a goalless first half, Manchester City midfielder Gundogan struck twice before replacement striker Timo Werner added a third to keep Germany on course to qualify for next year’s finals.

The Germans stay second in the table but moved level on 15 points with Group C leaders the Netherlands, who beat Belarus 2-1 in Minsk earlier in the day.  Wins next month for Joachim Loew’s side against Belarus in Moenchengladbach and Northern Ireland in Frankfurt will ensure Germany a place at Euro 2020.

Germany were dealt a blow before kick-off when in-form winger Serge Gnabry was pulled from the starting line-up with a leg injury.

Can then quickly added to Loew’s woes against the group’s bottom side with the earliest red card ever shown to a Germany international.

Playing out of position at centre-back, the Juventus midfielder was sent off for lunging into a tackle, as the last man, on Estonia forward Frank Liivak.

Nevertheless, Germany had the best first-half chance when Marco Reus curled his free-kick over the wall but against the woodwork. Gundogan broke the deadlock early in the second half when his shot clipped Reus’s boot and beat the Estonia goalkeeper from 20 metres out.

Six minutes later, after an exchange of passes between Reus and winger Julian Brandt, Gundogan’s shot on the edge of the area again took a deflection to make it 2-0.

Werner, on for Freiburg striker Luca Waldschmidt, made it 3-0 on 71 minutes when a Gundogan pass picked out the RB Leipzig striker, who fired home across the goal.

Meanwhile, Poland and Russia qualified for the 2020 European Championship.

Robert Lewandowski set up both goals for Poland as Chicago Fire midfielder Przemyslaw Frankowski and fellow substitute Arkadiusz Milik scored late in a hard-fought 2-0 win over North Macedonia.

Poland is assured of finishing in the top two of Group G, where second-place Austria boosted its hopes of qualifying with a 1-0 win at Slovenia.

Russia earlier routed Cyprus 5-0 to join group winner Belgium in securing a place at next year’s tournament. Valencia forward Denis Cheryshev scored twice and set up two more goals for the Russians - who only needed a draw to be sure of qualification - to take their tally to 21 points after seven wins from eight games in Group I.

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