Germany have become the first team to qualify for next year’s European Football Championships after thrashing Austria 6-2 in Gelsenkirchen.
Mesut Ozil bagged a brace as the three-time European champions continued their 100% percent record in the campaign.
Miroslav Klose opened the scoring in the eighth minute, with Ozil doubling the advantage after 23 minutes. Lukas Podolski made it 3-0 five minutes later before Marko Arnautovic pulled one back for the visitors.
Ozil all but sealed victory two minutes after the restart with Andre Schurrle and Mario Gotze adding late goals to cap another impressive German display.
It is our philosophy to constantly attack and we are working all the time to have a team in which we can interchange players
“We got caught out twice defensively, but I think we restricted the Austrians to just two chances and I prefer that we created so many chances,” German coach Joachim Low said after the game, AFP reported.
“It is our philosophy to constantly attack and we are working all the time to have a team in which we can interchange players. This is what you have to have if you want to be amongst the best in the world,” Low added, AFP reported.
In the other Group A matches, Belgium’s chances of qualifying took a knock when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Azerbaijan – Rauf Aliyev’s 86th minute equalizer canceling out defender Timmy Simons penalty kick.
Turkey consolidated second place in the group with a 2-1 home win against bottom-placed Kazakhstan.
Robin Van Persie scored four as the Netherlands put San Marino to the sword with an 11-0 thrashing.
Wesley Sneijder and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar both scored twice as the Dutch consolidated their lead at the top of Group E. San Marino have now conceded 44 goals in eight matches without managing a single goal themselves.
Hungary are now level on points with Sweden after beating them 2-1 in Budapest. Both teams now have 15 points although Hungary have played a game more.
In the other Group E match, Finland beat Moldova 4-1 in Helsinki.
Two goals from Wayne Rooney and a first international goal for Gary Cahill helped England to a 3-0 win over Bulgaria in Sofia in Group G.
Wales’ 2-1 victory over second-placed Montenegro in Cardiff also helped Fabio Capello’s men open up a three point gap at the top of the table.
Russia are top of Group B after they beat Macedonia 1-0 — Igor Semshov’s goal in the 41st minute separating the teams.
The Republic of Ireland drew 0-0 with Slovakia in Dublin as both teams missed out on going top of the table.
Armenia kept their slim hopes of qualification alive with a 3-0 win over Andorra.
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