Low wants another fine show against N. Ireland

Thomas Muller signals to the crowd after scoring against the Czechs. Coach Joachim Low sees Northern Ireland as even more cautious.
Thomas Muller signals to the crowd after scoring against the Czechs. Coach Joachim Low sees Northern Ireland as even more cautious.PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN • Germany coach Joachim Low has called for "exactly the same" performance for tomorrow's World Cup football qualifier against Northern Ireland following his side's demolition of the Czech Republic.

Thomas Muller scored twice and Toni Kroos also netted, as Germany dominated the Czech Republic with a 3-0 win on Saturday night.

It was an impressive display from the hosts in Hamburg and the scoreline could have been much higher as Julian Draxler, Mario Gotze and Muller all missed clear chances.

Now Low wants the same performance against Northern Ireland in Hanover to preserve their perfect record and stay top of Group C.

"We need the same determination, the same amount of running and the same precision in our passes," he said.

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  • With four goals, Germany forward Thomas Muller is leading the scoring list for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in Europe, along with Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Poland's Robert Lewandowski.

The coach added that he expects the Ulstermen, who beat minnows San Marino 4-0 in Belfast on Saturday, to be "even more cautious" than the Czechs.

"They (the Czechs) tried to interfere with our game, at least early on, and so we have to put in exactly the same sort of display to be successful (against the Irish)," said Low.

"You could see after an hour that we had run our opponents ragged."

In other World Cup qualifiers on Saturday, James McArthur's 89th-minute header salvaged a 1-1 draw for Scotland at home to Lithuania in their Group F clash at Hampden Park.

Scotland's qualification hopes seemed set for a crushing setback when Fiodor Cernych fired the visitors ahead just before the hour mark. But the Crystal Palace midfielder spared their blushes.

Still, coach Gordon Strachan felt that earning a draw was "a good point in the end".

"To drag ourselves back after the blow of the goal was terrific," he said. "We congratulate the lads on that, and for going for it. We're second (in Group F behind England), that's where it leaves us.

"There were a lot of chances cleared off the line, could have been hand-ball, could have been this, could have been that. But it was a good point in the end."

Scotland face point-less Slovakia away tomorrow, while Lithuania host Malta.

In Group E, a hat-trick by deadly finisher Robert Lewandowski lifted Poland to a 3-2 victory over Denmark in a thrilling encounter in Warsaw. It put them level on four points with joint leaders Montenegro and Romania.

A Kamil Glik own goal and Yussuf Poulsen goal provided consolation for the visitors. Poland next face Armenia tomorrow, while Montenegro travel to Denmark.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2016, with the headline 'Low wants another fine show against N. Ireland'. Print Edition | Subscribe