Sport Soccer

Sunday 18 February 2018

Ozil treble sees Germans wrap up Euro qualification

Mesut Ozil scored a hat-trick as Germany beat Austria 6-2 last night to become the first team to qualify for the 2012 European Championship.

Ozil scored in the eighth and the 23rd minutes before Lukas Podolski effectively killed the game with Germany's third in the 28th.

Marko Arnautovic pulled one back in the 42nd minute, but Ozil completed his hat-trick two minutes after the break.

Martin Harnik scored another Austrian consolation goal in the 51st minute, before Germany subs Andre Schuerrle and Mario Goetze rounded off the scoring late on.

In Group G, goals from Steve Morison and captain Aaron Ramsey gave Wales a first win of their qualifying campaign in Cardiff.

Morison tapped in the opener in the 29th minute when Montenegro goalkeeper Mladen Bozovic failed to hold a David Vaughan cross, before Ramsey slotted home after the break thanks to great wing play by the outstanding Gareth Bale.

Montenegro pulled a goal back through Stevan Jovetic but they could not find a leveller and they now trail England by three points at the top of the group.

A horror back-pass from Steven Davis condemned Northern Ireland to defeat at the hands of Serbia.

With the score locked at 0-0 and Nigel Worthington's side finally starting to get on top after their opponents had dominated the first period, the Rangers man gifted Marko Pantelic a 67th-minute goal.

Italy struggled to a 1-0 win over the Faroe Islands but still moved within one victory of qualifying for the European Championship. After Antonio Cassano put Italy ahead in the 11th minute, the Faroes hit the woodwork twice.

Robin van Persie hit four goals to inspire Netherlands to an 11-0 annihilation of San Marino in a record win for the home side.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored two and set up another as Portugal thrashed a 10-man Cyprus side 4-0 away to stay top of Group H on goal difference.

France claimed a sluggish 2-1 win over Albania with Karim Benzema grabbing one goal and setting up Yann Mvila for their second.

Irish Independent

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