Götze and Müller trump Lewandowski as Germany go top

World Champions see off Poland in Frankfurt while Northern Ireland beat Faroes

Germany moved to the top of Euro 2016 qualification Group D after a 3-1 win over Poland in Frankfurt. Photograph: Reuters

Germany moved to the top of Euro 2016 qualification Group D after a 3-1 win over Poland in Frankfurt. Photograph: Reuters

 

Germany 3 Poland 1

Germany’s Mario Götze struck twice as the world champions beat rivals Poland 3-1 in an entertaining Euro 2016 qualifying encounter on Friday to take over top spot in Group D and avenge last year’s defeat.

Thomas Müller put the hosts in front after 12 minutes and Goetze added a second with a fine solo effort seven minutes later before a third Bayern Munich player, Poland captain Robert Lewandowski, cut the deficit with a diving header from Kamil Grosicki’s superb left-wing cross with the outside of his right foot.

Götze, struggling for first team action in the Bundesliga over the past two seasons, sealed Germany’s win eight minutes from time on the rebound.

Both teams had plenty more chances in a flowing, attacking game but Germany, who had lost 2-0 in Warsaw last year, proved more efficient and took over at the top of Group D on 16 points from seven games, two ahead of Poland.

Germany next play Scotland, who lost 1-0 away to Georgia earlier on Friday, in Glasgow on Monday.

Faroe Islands 1 Northern Ireland 3

Defender Gareth McCauley scored twice from set pieces and Kyle Lafferty added a third as Northern Ireland beat the Faroe Islands 3-1 on Friday to move of Group F and stay on course for a first appearance in the European championship finals.

McCauley gave his side the lead in the 12th minute when the Faroes failed to clear a harmless-looking free kick from deep on their left flank, allowing a grateful McCauley to stoop and head home.

A constant threat from set pieces themselves, the home side levelled in the 36th minute through Joan Edmundsson, who stabbed home Ragnar Nattestad‘s pull-back after a long throw-in caused panic in the Irish defence.

Booked early in the first half, Edmundsson saw red following a late challenge in the 65th minute.

Six minutes later McCauley put his side in front again, holding off his marker to head home, and Lafferty put the game out of reach when he swivelled to rifle home a shot four minutes later.

The win takes Northern Ireland to 16 points, one ahead of Romania following their goalless draw away to Hungary, who have 12.

Northern Ireland are at home to Hungary on Monday when a win would guarantee them a top two spot and a place in next year‘s finals in France.

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