Germany thrash Azerbaijan for perfect World Cup qualification campaign

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Kaiserslautern (Germany), Oct 9 (IANS) Reigning World Cup champions Germany registered their 10th win in as many games easing past Azerbaijan 5-1 in the last game of Group C in the World Cup qualifiers.

Germany have completed a perfect qualification campaign on the road to Russia 2018 as a brace from Leon Goretzka helped the hosts to overcome Azerbaijan here on Sunday evening, reports Xinhua news agency.

The hosts ensured a perfect start as Germany broke the deadlock eight minutes into the game when Leon Goretzka picked up the ball following a corner to slot home with his back heel.

Joachim Loew’s men should have added another goal to their lead at the half-hour mark but Sandro Wagner rattled only the woodwork from inside the penalty box.

Azerbaijan bounced back and shocked the hosts with the equalizer out of the blue after Ramil Sheidaev overcame Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno from sharp angle to make it 1-1 on the scoreboards moments later.

The equaliser put the hosts on the back foot, as Joachim Loew’s needed half time to reload his team’s offence. Germany grabbed the 2-1 lead through Sandro Wagner, who benefited on Julian Brandt’s cross in the 54th minute.

Germany gained momentum and extended their lead ten minutes later when Antonio Ruediger’s deflected header on target found the back of the net before Goretzka wrapped up his brace after tapping home Leroy Sane’s low cross in the 66th minute.

Azerbaijan were unable to put up resistance, whereas Germany kept it bowling to increase their advantage to 5-1 as Emre Can unleashed a hammer to beat custodian Kamran Aghayev with nine minutes to play.

World Cup holders Germany have completed their perfect run with 10 wins from as many games in the qualifiers.

Germany finished at the top of the standings in Group C with 30 points followed by Northern Ireland (19 points), the Czech Republic (15 points), Norway (13 points), Azerbaijan (10 points) and San Marino (0 points).

–IANS

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