Wednesday 18 September 2019

North lose top spot after German defeat

Germany's Serge Gnabry (right) celebrates his injury time goal against Northern Ireland with Julian Brandt. Photo: PA
Germany's Serge Gnabry (right) celebrates his injury time goal against Northern Ireland with Julian Brandt. Photo: PA

Northern Ireland lost top spot in Group C after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Germany in Windsor Park last night.

The result helped their opponents, who leap frogged Northern Ireland into pole position, get their Euro 2020 qualification campaign on track as they bounced back from last week's loss to the Netherlands.

Defender Marcel Halstenberg drilled the ball in three minutes after the restart following a lacklustre first half by the Germans, who lost 4-2 at home to the Dutch on Friday, and Serge Gnabry added another goal in second-half stoppage time.

The result put Germany top on 12 points from five games, ahead on goal difference of Northern Ireland, who suffered their first loss of the campaign as captain Steven Davis became their most capped outfield player with 113 appearances.

The third-placed Netherlands, 4-0 winners away to Estonia last night, are on nine points from four matches.

In Group I, Scotland suffered more Hampden agony as a 4-0 defeat by Belgium made it four losses from six European Championship qualifiers.

Kevin De Bruyne set up first-half goals for Romelu Lukaku, Thomas Vermaelen and Toby Alderweireld before scoring himself in the second half.

Irish Independent

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