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Germany keep perfect record, England down Lithuania in World Cup qualifiers

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Paris: Germany kept their perfect record with a 4-1 victory over Azerbaijan, while England eased past Lithuania 2-0 in the 2018 football World Cup qualifiers.

Thanks to Andre Schuerrle’s brace on Sunday, along with goals from Thomas Mueller and Mario Gomez, Group C leaders Germany joined Switzerland as the only two teams with five consecutive wins, reports Xinhua news agency.

However, reigning champions conceded their first goal, when Azerbaijan midfielder Dimitrij Nazarov found the back of the net.

This made Mats Hummels unhappy about his team’s “arrogance” against their 89th-ranked opponents.

“We are pretty arrogant today. That’s not nice,” the Bayern Munich defender admitted.

Also in Group C, Northern Ireland tightened their grip on the second position after beating Norway 2-0 at home. Czech Republic crushed over minnows San Marino 6-0, two points behind on third.

The 34-year-old forward Jermain Defoe made his brilliant international comeback since November 2013 to help England break the deadlock in the 22nd minute, before substitute Jamie Vardy doubled the lead for England, who sat atop Group F with 13 points.

Slovakia defeated Malta 3-1 to move up to second, also relying on Scotland’s 1-0 victory over Slovenia.

Poland led Group E with 13 points after going past Montenegro 2-1. Romania and Denmark finished a goalless draw. Armenia overcame bottom-ranked Kazakhstan 2-0.

Nine group winners in European qualifies will go directly to Russia in 2018, while the last four spots will be decided on the play-offs among eight best second-place finishers.

IANS

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