Michael O'Neill: Northern Ireland defeat in Germany 'far from a disaster'

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Players' response was superb - Michael O'Neill

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill says his side's 2-0 defeat by Germany is "far from a disaster" in terms of their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

First-half goals by Julian Draxler and Sami Khedira sealed Germany's victory in the Group C qualifier in Hanover.

"If we had taken anything here it would have been a huge bonus," O'Neill said.

"Whatever else happens I don't see any of the other teams in the group coming here and winning."

Draxler and Khedira struck in the space of four first-half minutes to maintain Germany's position at the top of the group with three wins from three matches.

"I couldn't have asked any more of the players," O'Neill said. "I thought we contained Germany better than we did in Paris [at Euro 2016].

"I was disappointed to go behind the way we did and to lose the second goal at that point in the game. You're trying to contain Germany and it's difficult then.

"In the last 20 minutes of the first half we had opportunities on the counter-attack and we could possibly have done a little bit better with those. We ran out of legs a little bit to threaten them."

Northern Ireland now lie third in the group, three points behind unbeaten Azerbaijan, who are their next opponents in Belfast on 11 November.

"We look forward to Azerbaijan and if we win that we have the incentive of going second," said the NI boss.

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France32105147
2Sweden32105147
3Netherlands31115324
4Bulgaria3102510-53
5Belarus302125-32
6Luxembourg301246-21

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland33007349
2Portugal3201122106
3Hungary31114314
4Faroe Islands311126-44
5Latvia310214-33
6Andorra300319-80

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany33008089
2Azerbaijan32102027
3Northern Ireland31114224
4Norway310245-13
5Czech Rep302103-32
6San Marino300319-80

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia32108447
2R. of Ireland32106337
3Wales31207345
4Austria31116604
5Georgia301224-21
6Moldova3003110-90

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Montenegro32107167
2Poland32107527
3Romania31206155
4Denmark310234-13
5Kazakhstan302127-52
6Armenia300318-70

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England32103037
2Lithuania31205325
3Slovenia31203215
4Scotland31116514
5Slovakia31023213
6Malta300319-80

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain3210111107
2Italy32107437
3Albania32014316
4Israel32015506
5Macedonia300347-30
6Liechtenstein3003112-110

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium3300130139
2Greece33008179
3Bos-Herze32017436
4Estonia310247-33
5Cyprus300307-70
6Gibraltar3003114-130

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia32108177
2Iceland32106337
3Ukraine31206335
4Turkey302135-22
5Finland301235-21
6Kosovo3012110-91
View full World Cup Qualifying - European tables

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