World Cup Qualifying - European - Group C
Northern Ireland1Germany3

World Cup 2018: Northern Ireland 1-3 Germany

Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley in action against Sandro Wagner of Germany
Germany needed to avoid defeat to make sure of qualifying for Russia 2018

Defending champions Germany confirmed their qualification for next year's World Cup in Russia by beating Northern Ireland 3-1 in Belfast.

Sebastian Rudy shot into the top corner in the second minute, Sandro Wagner rifled home from the edge of the area, and Joshua Kimmich drove in late on.

Josh Magennis headed Northern Ireland's goal in stoppage time.

Germany progress as group winners but Northern Ireland remain well placed to make November's play-offs.

Michael O'Neill's men complete their Group C campaign in Norway on Sunday, aiming to finish among the best eight of the nine group runners-up.

They will follow results elsewhere over the next two days but, as it stands, they may need a point in Oslo to make sure of reaching the play-offs, the draw for which takes place on 17 October.

Of the eight teams, the highest four in the Fifa rankings which will be published on 16 October - Northern Ireland are currently 20th - will be seeded for the play-offs.

NI still hoping to make history

Josh Magennis scored Northern Ireland's goal with the last move of the match
Charlton striker Josh Magennis scored Northern Ireland's goal with the last move of the match

Having won five successive qualifying games, Northern Ireland's defeat was their first in a competitive home match since they lost 4-2 to Portugal in September 2013.

In O'Neill's 50th game in charge, they failed to equal their record of six clean sheets in a row - set in 1986, the last time Northern Ireland qualified for the World Cup.

O'Neill's side are hoping to become the first NI team to compete in consecutive major tournaments.

Germany go into their final group game at home to Azerbaijan on Sunday, having extended their unbeaten run to 18 games since losing 2-0 to France in the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

The world champions retain their record of having never lost an away World Cup qualifying game, a run that spans 47 games from March 1934, and they have only ever lost two World Cup qualifier fixtures.

Dominant Germany's clinical finishing

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'That wasn't in the plan' - NI concede after 83 seconds

It took less than two minutes for the visitors to edge in front as Rudy became the 20th Germany player to score in qualifying and the first to breach the hosts' defence in a competitive home game for two years.

Rudy's right-foot shot went flying past Michael McGovern after Kimmich rolled the ball to his Bayern Munich team-mate.

Joachim Low's side dominated possession, passed and moved with immense accuracy and speed, and produced some fine finishing as they increased their advantage through Wagner's fourth goal of the campaign on his fourth international appearance.

The Hoffenheim striker turned on the edge of the box after collecting a pass from Thomas Muller and unleashed a thunderous shot from just outside the area past the despairing dive of McGovern.

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Steven Davis and Josh Magennis praise NI resilience against Germany

Wagner had earlier gone close with a chested effort from a couple of yards out which was saved by McGovern, and a glancing header which cannoned off the post.

The Northern Ireland keeper made a fine save to deny Muller's header in the second half but could do nothing about Kimmich's late strike from inside the six-yard area, which flew inside his near post in added time.

O'Neill indicated before the game that he would adopt a cautious approach but the 3-5-2 formation he set out in the first half proved ineffective and he reverted to a more conventional 4-4-2 after the break as Stuart Dallas replaced Lee Hodson.

The home side produced little in attack during the opening 45 minutes, although Corry Evans forced Marc-Andre ter Stegen into an impressive stop.

In the second period, substitute Conor Washington hit the bar with a left-foot shot from close range when he should have scored, while Magennis' header in added time provided a consolation.

Line-ups

Northern Ireland

  • 1McGovern
  • 6HodsonSubstituted forDallasat 45'minutes
  • 2McLaughlin
  • 4McAuley
  • 5Evans
  • 11Brunt
  • 13EvansSubstituted forSavilleat 80'minutes
  • 16Norwood
  • 8Davis
  • 21Magennis
  • 10LaffertySubstituted forWashingtonat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Ferguson
  • 7McGinn
  • 9Washington
  • 12Mannus
  • 14Dallas
  • 15Paton
  • 17Flanagan
  • 18Morris
  • 19Saville
  • 20Jones
  • 22Lund
  • 23Carroll

Germany

  • 22ter Stegen
  • 18Kimmich
  • 17Boateng
  • 5Hummels
  • 3Plattenhardt
  • 21Rudy
  • 8Kroos
  • 19GoretzkaSubstituted forCanat 66'minutes
  • 13MüllerSubstituted forStindlat 83'minutes
  • 7DraxlerSubstituted forSanéat 72'minutes
  • 9Wagner

Substitutes

  • 1Trapp
  • 2Mustafi
  • 4Ginter
  • 6Süle
  • 10Stindl
  • 12Leno
  • 14Can
  • 15Younes
  • 16Rüdiger
  • 20Brandt
  • 23Sané
Referee:
Danny Makkelie

Match Stats

Home TeamNorthern IrelandAway TeamGermany
Possession
Home26%
Away74%
Shots
Home8
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away6
Fouls
Home6
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Northern Ireland 1, Germany 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Northern Ireland 1, Germany 3.

Goal!

Goal! Northern Ireland 1, Germany 3. Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Gareth McAuley with a headed pass following a corner.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Joshua Kimmich.

Foul by Mats Hummels (Germany).

Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Northern Ireland 0, Germany 3. Joshua Kimmich (Germany) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner.

Foul by Leroy Sané (Germany).

Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Toni Kroos (Germany) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Germany. Lars Stindl replaces Thomas Müller.

Corner, Germany. Conceded by George Saville.

Foul by Emre Can (Germany).

Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Leroy Sané (Germany) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Sandro Wagner with a through ball.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. George Saville replaces Corry Evans.

Conor Washington (Northern Ireland) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Josh Magennis.

Foul by Sandro Wagner (Germany).

Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Germany. Leroy Sané replaces Julian Draxler.

Attempt missed. Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Conor Washington replaces Kyle Lafferty.

Attempt missed. Toni Kroos (Germany) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Julian Draxler.

Substitution

Substitution, Germany. Emre Can replaces Leon Goretzka.

Foul by Joshua Kimmich (Germany).

Chris Brunt (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Sandro Wagner (Germany) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland).

Corner, Germany. Conceded by Chris Brunt.

Foul by Thomas Müller (Germany).

Conor McLaughlin (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sandro Wagner (Germany).

Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Germany. Conceded by Conor McLaughlin.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Mats Hummels.

Jérôme Boateng (Germany) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kyle Lafferty (Northern Ireland).

Foul by Marvin Plattenhardt (Germany).

Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Mats Hummels (Germany) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Toni Kroos with a cross.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 5th October 2017

View all World Cup Qualifying - European results

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France85211551017
2Sweden85121871116
3Netherlands84131611513
4Bulgaria84041317-412
5Luxembourg8125717-105
6Belarus8125416-125

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland88001831524
2Portugal87012842421
3Hungary8314119210
4Faroe Islands8224415-118
5Andorra8116217-154
6Latvia8107318-153

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany99003833527
2Northern Ireland96121751219
3Czech Rep93331210212
4Norway93151616010
5Azerbaijan9315914-510
6San Marino9009246-440

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia85301771018
2Wales8350125714
3R. of Ireland834196313
4Austria8233101009
5Georgia8053812-45
6Moldova8026420-162

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland971124121222
2Denmark96121971219
3Montenegro95131881016
4Romania9333119212
5Armenia9207925-166
6Kazakhstan9027525-202

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England97201731423
2Scotland95221510517
3Slovakia9504147715
4Slovenia9423105514
5Lithuania9135719-126
6Malta9018322-191

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain87103232922
2Italy86111971219
3Albania8413109113
4Israel8305914-59
5Macedonia82151014-47
6Liechtenstein8008134-330

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium87103533222
2Bos-Herze84221981114
3Greece8341115613
4Cyprus8314812-410
5Estonia8224617-118
6Gibraltar8008337-340

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia8512123916
2Iceland8512117416
3Turkey8422128414
4Ukraine8422117414
5Finland8215610-47
6Kosovo8017320-171
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