Wednesday 7 December 2016

Mueller shows his class in German win

Independent.ie sportsdesk

Published 05/09/2016 | 02:30

Thomas Mueller of Germany celebrates scoring his second goal against Norway. Photo: Getty
Thomas Mueller of Germany celebrates scoring his second goal against Norway. Photo: Getty

Robert Snodgrass bagged a hat-trick as Scotland got their World Cup campaign off to an excellent start with a 5-1 victory away to nine-man Malta. Chris Martin and Steven Fletcher also scored.

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Thomas Mueller put his Euro 2016 goal drought behind him, scoring twice to give dominant Germany an easy 3-0 win away to Norway in their opening Group C encounter.

Scotland's hat trick scorer Robert Snodgrass applauds the fans on the pitch after the match. Photo: PA
Scotland's hat trick scorer Robert Snodgrass applauds the fans on the pitch after the match. Photo: PA

Mueller took advantage of shoddy Norwegian defending to give the title holders an early lead and headed the third goal on the hour.

In between, he produced a superb pass to set up Joshua Kimmich for his first international goal.

Christian Eriksen scored the winner but missed a penalty as wasteful Denmark laboured to a 1-0 win over Armenia in Copenhagen.

With the Group E visitors missing captain and record goal-scorer Henrikh Mkhitaryan due to a thigh injury, Eriksen rifled home Viktor Fischer's clever backheeled pass in the 17th minute of coach Age Hareide's first competitive international in charge.

Eriksen had a second-half penalty saved as the Danes struggled to convert their dominance into goals.

Poland began their qualifying campaign by squandering a two-goal lead in a bad-tempered 2-2 draw away to Kazakhstan which saw 10 players yellow-carded.

The Poles were cruising when Bartosz Kapustka put them ahead after nine minutes and Robert Lewandowski converted a penalty 10 minutes before the break.

But Kazakhstan, who lost seven of their 10 games in the Euro 2016 qualifiers and have never played at the World Cup, hit back with a double strike from Sergey Khizhnichenko.

Uganda qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 1978 by beating Comoros 1-0.

Irish Independent

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