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Half dozen in Dublin

Two for Kroos as Germans thrash Ireland

Germany remain right on track in 2014 World Cup qualifying after a third win in their third fixture. Coach Joachim Löw's team thrashed Ireland 6-1 in Dublin on Friday evening and maintained their three-point lead at the top of Group C, with second placed Sweden due in Berlin next Tuesday.

Marco Reus scored twice before the break, before Mezut Ozil effectively killed the game as a contest with a 55th-minute penalty. Miroslav Klose made it four on the hour, and Toni Kroos blasted home two superb long-range efforts to round it off. The visitors were superior in every respect and translated almost every clear-cut chance into a goal. The Irish finally pulled one back through Andrew Keogh in stoppage time, but it was hollow consolation in front of the restless Dublin crowd.

Lahm suspended, Schweinsteiger returns

“We turned in a very focused display tonight. Everyone did a good job. Overall, we're heading in a very good direction," commented Bastian Schweinsteiger afterwards, “but I’d like to say that we have to take another step if we're to win trophies. We have to be perfect in every tiny detail if we’re to beat the great Spanish side at some point."

Philipp Lahm missed out in Dublin with suspension, Jerome Boateng deputising at right-back, with Schweinsteiger taking over the captain's armband in his first outing for his country since Euro 2012. Manuel Neuer kept goal, Holger Badstuber was at centre-half and Thomas Müller on the right of midfield. Kroos was a half-time substitute.