Euro 2012 round-up: Germany win to close in on finals place
Germany are on the brink of qualifying for the finals of Euro 2012 after beating Azerbaijan 3-1 in Baku to make it seven wins out of seven in Group A.
Mesut Ozil put the visitors ahead with an angled drive then set up Mario Gomez for a tap-in just before half-time.
Azerbaijan, who had hit the bar at 0-0, replied through Murad Huseynov before Andre Schurrle added Germany's third.
Only Turkey, who are 11 points behind Germany but have a game in hand, can catch Joachim Loew's side.
Germany did not have things all their own way against Azerbaijan, with Vugar Nadyrov hitting the woodwork for the hosts early on after a defensive blunder by Mats Hummels.
But Germany quickly seized the initiative, with Benedikt Hoewedes floating over a cross for Ozil, who held off two Azeri defenders to score.
Ozil sliced open the Azerbaijan defence again when he teed up Gomez but the home side battled on.
Nadyrov had a goal ruled out for offside and Huseynov had already gone close to scoring from close range after some slack German defending before he did find the net in the 89th minute.
Schuerrle restored Germany's two-goal advantage deep in injury time.
Elsewhere, Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off the bench to score a hat-trick as Sweden thrashed Finland 5-0 to move within three points of Netherlands at the top of Group E.
The AC Milan striker, still nursing the ankle knock that caused him to miss Friday's 4-1 victory away to Moldova, was brought on after 25 minutes with Sweden already ahead through Kim Kallstrom's free-kick.
Ibrahimovic made it 2-0 six minutes later when he swivelled to fire home first time from close range, netting his second before half-time and completing his treble after the break when he nodded home a free-kick.
Emir Bajrami completed the rout with a fifth goal seven minutes from time.
In the same group, goals by Zoltan Liptak, Imre Szabics and Vladimir Koman helped Hungary beat San Marino to keep them third, three points behind Sweden.
Second-half goals from Sergei Kornilenko and Anton Putilo gave Belarus a 2-0 win over Luxembourg in Group D.
Belarus are now one point behind leaders France, but they have played a game more.
Bosnia-Hercegovina beat Albania 2-0 to move third, thanks to goals from Haris Medunjanin and Darko Maletic.
The surprise of the night came in Group C, where the Faroe Islands beat Estonia 2-0 through goals by Frodi Benjaminsen and Arnbjorn Hansen to claim the first win of their campaign.