Belfast Telegraph

Germany 2-0 Northern Ireland: Draxler and Khedira goals seal victory for hosts

Goals: Draxler (13' minutes), Khedira (17' minutes)

A pair of goals in four first-half minutes saw Germany coast to a 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Northern Ireland in Hanover.

Julian Draxler's opener and Sami Khedira's header both came inside the opening 17 minutes and Michael O'Neill may have feared the worst against the team that gave them the run-around at the Euros four months earlier.

However, the visitors regrouped and did not concede again, ensuring they emerged from a clash with the World Cup holders, who won for a 94th time under Joachim Low, with their heads held high.

Paddy McNair and Lafferty entered the fray in the final 20 minutes as O'Neill tried to catch out a German team still flooding forward in numbers.

For all their possession and territorial dominance, the green shirts in front of McGovern were keeping them at bay.

When the hosts did test McGovern he was up to the task as he pushed away Gotze's attempt to beat him at his near post.

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Shkodran Mustafi volleyed wide and fellow replacement Gundogan shanked over after McAuley failed to clear his lines.

Khedira lashed a late try over the crossbar but the German fans did not seem to care as the whole of The HDI Arena seemed more interested in joining in a rendition of 'Will Grigg's on Fire'.

The full-time whistle confirmed a 94th win for Joachim Low, a number which pulled him level with Sepp Herberger, though his counterpart O'Neill will have been equally pleased with everything bar the opening 17 minutes.

Belfast Telegraph


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