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World Cup qualifying

Goal flurry for Germany, Lewandowski on form

Germany are on course for Russia next year after a 6-0 win against Norway on Monday evening. The eighth consecutive victory in qualifying almost guarantees Germany’s presence at the World Cup in 2018. First half goals from Mesut Özil, Julian Draxler and a Timo Werner brace were followed by strikes from Leon Goretzka and Mario Gomez in the second half in a dazzling display by the reigning world champions.

Germany remain five points clear in Group C, ahead of Northern Ireland who were 2-0 winners against Czech Republic. The top two meet on 5 October in Belfast in the penultimate group game, with a draw sufficient to guarantee qualification for Joachim Löw’s side. In European qualifying the group winners qualify directly, while the eight runners up with the best records can secure their place via a playoff.Germany were unstoppable three days after their last-gasp victory in the Czech Republic. They pressed and combined well, created chances thick and fast, and scored good goals, two assisted by Thomas Müller and one by Joshua Kimmich. Müller took the captain’s armband in the first half, with Mats Hummels taking over after the break. A fourth Bayern player, Sebastian Rudy, played until his 61st minute substitution.

Lewandowski back on track

Robert Lewandowski and Poland remain on track for qualification. Three days after a bitter 4-0 defeat in Denmark, Adam Nawalka’s team bounced back with a 3-0 victory over Kazakhstan. Lewandowski played the full 90 minutes, his late penalty following goals from Arkadiusz Milik and Kamil Glik.

Poland remain three points clear of Denmark in Group E going into the final two matches. Lewandowski and his teammates can ensure qualification against Armenia and Montenegro in early October.

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