- End of 2nd Half
- 2nd Half
- 1/2 Time
- 1st Half
Northern Ireland - Germany
World Cup Qualification UEFA - 6 October 2017
World Cup Qualification UEFA – Follow the Football match between Northern Ireland and Germany live with Eurosport. The match starts at 02:45 on 6 October 2017. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Germany seal their place in next year’s World Cup finals with a game to spare as they comfortably overcome Northern Ireland in Belfast thanks to goals from Sebastian Rudy, Sandro Wagner and Joshua Kimmich.
Josh Magennis grabbed a late consolation for the hosts.
- GoalJosh MagennisNorthern Ireland
GOAL! Northern Ireland 1-3 Germany.
The hosts grab a well-deserved consolation goal at the death - McAuley is left unmarked at the back post from a corner, he nods it on for Magennis who bundles it over the line.
Three minutes of added time to play.
The replays show the ball struck Boateng's leg so it was a very optimistic call from the home supporters.
Half-hearted appeals for handball as Boateng clear Magennis' long throw-in.
- GoalJoshua KimmichGermany
GOAL! Northern Ireland 0-3 Germany.
Joshua Kimmich rounds off a successful night for the visitors with a lovely half-volley finish as he somehow squeezes it past Michael McGovern from a tight angle at the back-post.
- OffThomas MüllerGermany
- OnLars StindlGermany
That is Muller's last contribution as he is replaced Lars Stindl for the final seven minutes of normal time.
Muller is played through and he tries to square the ball to Sane, but Saville makes the interception. Muller looked offside.
Sane is released behind the Northern Ireland defence but skies his effort over the bar, much to the joy of the home fans.
- OffCorry EvansNorthern Ireland
- OnGeorge SavilleNorthern Ireland
Third and final change for the hosts as George Saville replaces Corry Evans.
That was the closest Northern Ireland have came, and it would have been only the third goal Germany would have conceded in this qualifying campaign.
WASHINGTON HITS THE CROSSBAR!
There is Northern Ireland's best chance, but they have blown it! Magennis does brilliantly to win the ball from Hummels before feeding Washington inside the box, he jinks past Boateng but his shot agonisingly smashes off the woodwork and goes over.
Can Northern Ireland pull one back in the final 15 minutes to make things even slightly more interesting? They have been improved in the second period and a goal would be fully deserved.
- OffJulian DraxlerGermany
- OnLeroy SanéGermany
Second change for Germany as Manchester City's Leroy Sane replaces Draxler.
The ball is flicked on inside the box, the hosts can only partially clear and in the end Dallas blazes his shot well over the bar as Northern Ireland's search for a goal continues.
Magennis preparing to take another long throw-in. Northern Ireland have all the big boys in the Germany penalty area for this one...
- OffDaniel LaffertyNorthern Ireland
- OnConor WashingtonNorthern Ireland
Conor Washington replaces Lafferty in a like-for-like substitution.
KROOS BLAZES OVER!
Draxler picks out Kroos on the edge of the Northern Ireland box, but the Real Madrid midfielder skies his effort well over the bar.
- OffLeon GoretzkaGermany
- OnEmre CanGermany
Goretzka makes way for Emre Can as Germany make their first change.
Emre Can is preparing to come on for Germany.
Northern Ireland growing in confidence, but their final ball is sadly lacking. Davis whips a cross into the Germany box, but Ter Stegen is on hand to deal with it.
Germany win their fifth corner of the night, but Lafferty is at the near post to hack it clear.
Two-nil down, but the home fans are still making plenty of noise. There is always a fantastic atmosphere at Windsor Park, no matter the result. This place will erupt if Northern Ireland can find a break-through.
For all of Germany's dominance, they have looked rather suspect at the back for their high standards. If Northern Ireland can somehow grab a goal, then who knows what the remainder of this game will hold.
The subsequent set-piece comes to nothing, though.
Tenacious work from Corry Evans as he wins possession from Rudy in midfield as Northern Ireland flood forward in attack. He feeds Lafferty on the right but he can only win a corner.
Northern Ireland win a corner which they will intend to pump into the penalty area. However, Lafferty fouls Boateng and the referee signals for a free-kick
Great play from McLaughlin down the right as he nutmegs Draxler, but his cross is straight into the arms of Ter Stegen.
MULLER GOES CLOSE!
Wagner delivers an inch-perfect cross for Muller whose header is goal-bound, but McGovern is at full-stretch to tip his effort onto the post and out for a corner.
A couple of step-overs from Draxler as he drives to the by-line before crossing for Muller whose shot is crucially charged down by Johnny Evans.
- OffLee HodsonNorthern Ireland
- OnStuart DallasNorthern Ireland
Northern Ireland made a change in personnel at the break: Stuart Dallas replacing Lee Hodson.
- 2nd Half
Northern Ireland get the second half underway.
Germany only need a draw to guarantee their place at Russia 2018, and a stunning second-minute 25-yard goal by Rudy gave the visitors the best possible start as Northern Ireland conceded their first goal at home in this campaign.
Wagner struck the post with a header minutes before he doubled Germany’s advantage when he curled in a spectacular second from the edge of the penalty area.
- End of 1st Half
Germany are leading by two goals at the break, and are in complete control of this tie.
There will be little, if any, additional time to be played at the end of a one-sided first-half.
Still, there are some signs for optimism in what has been a largely difficult first period for the hosts.
Now Lafferty peels away from his marker at the back post, but he can't generate the power needed to beat Ter Stegen in the Germany goal.
That was a massive opportunity for Northern Ireland to find a way back into the game and give them something to play for in the second half.
CORRY EVANS CHANCE!
Magennis curls a dangerous cross for Corry Evans at the back post. His first touch is poor, but he still manages to squeeze a shot at goal, but Ter Stegen makes himself big to make the block.
Needless to say, it is only a matter of seconds before Germany win the ball back.
Germany win what feels like their 100th corner, and it is sent low into the penalty area where Hummels attempts to hold it up. However, Northern Ireland eventually manage to hack it clear.
Hummels, left unmarked in the penalty area, sees his header well over the bar from the subsequent corner.
Germany work the ball into a wide area where Kimmich forces a corner.
That was Sandro Wagner's fourth goal of the World Cup qualifying campaign.
WATCH GERMANY'S SPECTACULAR OPENER
They may be missing at least five key players, but as they proved over the summer when they lifted the Confederations Cup, even Germany's second-string side is something special.
Germany continue to attack incessantly. The hosts fail to clear a cross, allowing Draxler to try a half-volley from the edge of the penalty area, but he screws the shot wide.
'We're going to win 3-2' is the slightly over-optimistic chant from the home fans.
Germany are unbeaten in their last 17 matches in all competitions, winning 14 and drawing three, and look almost certain to extend that run.
Germany have been a pleasure to watch. A lofted through ball to Kimmich releases the full-back, but he is caught in an offside position.
- GoalSandro WagnerGermany
GOAL! Northern Ireland 0-2 Germany.
Wagner lets the ball roll across his body, giving him space for a shot as he curls the ball into the top corner in spectacular fashion from the edge of the penalty area. A sensational goal, and Germany are cruising in Belfast.
Goretzka times his run perfectly and almost meets Muller's cross to the near post. Thankfully, for Northern Ireland, the ball runs through to McGovern.
OFF THE POST!
The woodwork comes to the rescue for Northern Ireland! Kimmich is left with acres of space and he swings in a pinpoint cross for Wagner whose header smashes agonisingly off the post.
Magennis has to drop deep in order to win possession and he does well to hold up the ball before turning into space. However, his cross from the right is overcooked and Germany have a goal-kick.
Davis is Northern Ireland's captain, and their most creative option. The Southampton man is trying to make things happen in midfield.
Magennis's long throw-in is headed clear by the German defence. The ball falls for Norwood who tries a first-time volley, but it ends up in row-Z.
The ball breaks kindly for Muller inside the Northern Ireland half, he has options on the channel but his pass is wayward and the hosts survive.
Germany are in absolute control here, passing the ball around confidently and waiting for an opening.
Northern Ireland appear to be struggling in this 3-5-2 formation.
Northern Ireland are fortunate not to be trailing by two goals. A teasing cross is sent across the face of goal, Wagner heads it on, forcing McGovern into a wonderful reaction save.
That was the first time Northern Ireland have conceded at home in this World Cup qualifying campaign.
Northern Ireland's response is a positive one: they win a corner which is delivered to the back post and evades McAuley by a couple of inches.
- GoalSebastian RudyGermany
GOAL! Northern Ireland 0-1 Germany.
A stunning goal from Sebastian Rudy gives the visitors a second minute lead. The hosts can only partially clear a cross, the loose ball is teed up for Rudy who smashes an unstoppable strike from 25 yards beyond the reach of Michael McGovern.
This is the 17th meeting on the international stage between Northern Ireland and Germany, with Northern Ireland winning just twice (D4 L10).
- 1st Half
The game is underway.
National anthems have been belted out and now it is almost time for kick-off...
Northern Ireland would seal their place in the play-offs with a draw, providing that Slovakia and Scotland also ends in a draw and England beat Slovenia in Group F.
“This has the air of a final,” said Joachim Löw, the Germany manager. “It is first against second in the group. Northern Ireland have practically qualified for the playoffs and they can go top of this group.
“They will not play all-or-nothing football but they will definitely be risk-orientated because they have nothing to lose. They have exceeded expectations in many respects but they are where they are by rights. There’s a lot at stake and both teams know it.”
Northern Ireland have won their last five games, their longest ever run - but Germany have never lost an away World Cup qualifier.
Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill said: "I think Germany are the strongest team in Europe, arguably the world. The players they have coming into their squad seem to adapt to international football very quickly.
"We're under no illusion, we're not going to come in and suddenly have 60 per cent of the ball, there's no point preparing as if we are.
"We know the areas where we believe we can hurt Germany. It will need a massive performance and some fine individual moments to win the game."
Some pre-match reading...
Here are the permutations in Group C, by Eurosport's very own Tom Adams:
Germany will consider themselves unfortunate to have not yet wrapped up qualification with eight wins from eight games, but the job will be complete if they can get a point from their visit to Belfast on Thursday night.
Northern Ireland are guaranteed of finishing at least second and should set their sights on a play-off place, as they need to win both their remaining games and for Germany to lose both of theirs to top the group. A point away at Norway on the final day should be enough to get into the list of eight play-off teams.
The visitors make three changes with Marvin Plattenhardt replacing Jonas Hector at left-back while Jerome Boateng and Leon Goretzka start ahead of Antonio Rudiger and Mesut Ozil.
Germany are missing a host of players to injury, including Manuel Neuer, Marco Reus, Mario Gomez, Mario Gotze, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira.
Kyle Lafferty, so often the match winner for Northern Ireland, comes into the line-up, starting ahead of Conor Washington.
Elsewhere, Gareth McAuley replaces the injured Aaron Hughes in a Northern Ireland defence hoping to keep a seventh consecutive clean-sheet.
NORTHERN IRELAND TEAM NEWS
Starting XI: McGovern, McLaughlin, McAuley, J Evans, Brunt, Norwood, Magennis, Davis, C Evans, Hodson, Lafferty.
GERMANY TEAM NEWS
Starting XI: Ter Stegen, Kimmich, Hummels, Boateng, Plattenhardt, Kroos, Rudy, Wagner, Draxler, Goretzka, Muller.
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE text commentary of the World Cup qualifying Group C clash between second-placed Northern Ireland and leaders Germany.
The reigning champions are five points clear of tonight's hosts and need only a draw to seal their place at Russia 2018, while Michael O'Neill's side - who have virtually secured a play-off place - need a victory to have any chance of automatically qualifying.