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Germany beat Northern Ireland 2-0 in FIFA World Cup qualifier

Xinhua, October 12, 2016 Adjust font size:

Joachim Loew's men reaped their third win from as many games after edging Northern Ireland 2-0 thanks to the goals from Julian Draxler and Sami Khedira in FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying Group C on Tuesday.

The reigning champions maintain their 100 per cent record as first-half goals from Wolfsburg's Draxler and Juventus' Khedira smoothed the way for Germany's victory over defensively minded visitors from Northern Ireland, who suffered their first loss.

As expected the hosts took the reins from the kick off whereas Northern Ireland defended deep and kept all their men behind the ball. Nevertheless, Mario Goetze almost opened the scoring with four minutes but goalkeeper Michal McGovern defused the header on target.

Draxler opened the scoring moments later after slotting home from outside of the box into the far post corner with 13 minutes into the encounter.

Germany gained momentum and increased the pressure to double their lead only four minutes later as Khedira nodded home from close range after Northern Ireland failed to clear the ball following a corner kick.

With the two-goal advantage Germany retracted while Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward and Josh Magennis tested custodian Manuel Neuer, who was on guard to deny before the break.

After the restart, Germany dominated the game again when Northern Ireland focused on their defensive performance to avoid a big defeat on the road.

"We have completed our task after securing nine points," Germany coach Joachim Loew said. "It was an easy win as we scored two early goals. However, Northern Ireland defended deep that made it difficult for us to score more goals."

With the result, Loew wins his 94th match as Germany coach. The Germans sit atop the standings with a two-point advantage in Group C followed by Azerbaijan, Northern Ireland, Norway, Czech Republic and San Marino. Endit