Football: Germany cruise to 2-0 win over Northern Ireland

Julian Draxler of Germany (centre) celebrates scoring the 1-0 goal with teammates.
Julian Draxler of Germany (centre) celebrates scoring the 1-0 goal with teammates.PHOTO: EPA

HANOVER, Germany (REUTERS) - World champions Germany struck twice in four first-half minutes to beat Northern Ireland 2-0 in their 2018 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday (Oct 11) and stretch their winning run in Group C.

Julian Draxler's 13th minute strike put them ahead and Sami Khedira added another goal as they quickly killed off the game for their third win in three qualifiers.

Northern Ireland, who had battled hard in a 1-0 Euro 2016 group stage defeat by Germany, were no match for the hosts, who had more than 75 per cent possession and were never threatened.

Germany, who have not conceded a goal yet and played three times as many passes as the Irish, are top with nine points, two points clear of Azerbaijan, who drew 0-0 away to the Czech Republic.

The Irish stay third with four points.