Belfast Telegraph

Schurrle double keeps Germans on course as Czechs cruise

By Robert Jones

Germany maintained their 100% record at the top of World Cup qualifying Group C with a comfortable 4-1 win in Azerbaijan.

Joachim Low's side conceded their first goal in qualifying, but made it five wins out of five to maintain their comfortable lead in the table.

Dimitrij Nazarov cancelled out Andre Schurrle's close-range opener in Baku, but Germany responded through Thomas Muller and Mario Gomez to lead 3-1 at the break and Schurrle emphatically netted his second in the 81st minute.

Group C rivals the Czech Republic gave their qualification hopes a boost by thrashing San Marino 6-0 in Serravalle.

Four goals in nine minutes midway through the first half put the Czech Republic in complete control, with two from Antonin Barak sandwiching Vladimir Darida's effort before Theodor Gebre Selassie made it 4-0.

Michal Krmencik slotted home the Czech Republic's fifth just before half-time and Hertha Berlin midfielder Darida scored his second from the penalty spot in the 77th minute after Davide Simoncini's foul on Jaromir Zmrhal.

• Holland have sacked coach Danny Blind in the wake of their World Cup qualifying loss to Bulgaria.

The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) has called time on the former defender's reign after only 20 months and 18 matches.

Saturday's 2-0 defeat in Sofia was Holland's second in their opening five games in World Cup qualifying group A and left them in fourth place in the pool, already six points behind leaders France.

Belfast Telegraph


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