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Germany crush Northern Ireland 6-1 in Euro 2020 qualifiers

Berlin, Nov 20 (Xinhua) Serge Gnabry's hat-trick and a brace from Leon Goretzka secured Germany a 6-1 win over Northern Ireland, as Die Mannschaft wrapped up top spot in Group C and ensured their place as one of the top seeds for Euro 2020.
However, the game on Tuesday began with a shock when Northern Ireland grabbed a fairytale start, as Michael Smith's long-range hammer from outside the box stunned the Germans with just seven minutes played.
Germany needed 12 minutes to recover from the setback and restore parity, as Gnabry benefitted from Jonas Hector's square pass to slot home in the 19th minute.
Hector remained in the thick of things as he assisted Goretzka, who poked home at the far post to make it 2-1 before the break.
The hosts remained in complete control of proceedings after the restart, and caught Northern Ireland flat-footed when Gnabry tapped home for 3-1 just two minutes into the second half.
Gnabry wasn't done scoring, and sealed his hat-trick one hour into the match for his 13th goal in as many international caps.
Northern Ireland were unable to put up effective resistance, as Goretzka scored his second in the 73rd minute, before Julian Brandt rounded off the 6-1 victory on home soil.
"We had already qualified for next year's tournament, hence we wanted to stage a great performance for our spectators in the last international game of the year. That is what we did. The team implemented our strategy and played very well," Germany head coach Joachim Low said.
With the result, Germany top Group C with 21 points followed by the Netherlands (19 points), Northern Ireland (13 points), Belarus (4 points) and Estonia (1 point).
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