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Wednesday, Aug 05th

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World Cup Qualifiers: Germany ease past Northern Ireland, England scrape draw in Slovenia

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Germany maintained their 100 per cent record in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers with a 2-0 triumph over Northern Ireland, while only heroic goalkeeping allowed a flat England side to secure a draw with Slovenia.

Julian Draxler and Sami Khedira scored within a span of 15 minutes in the first half as the defending champions made quick work of Northern Ireland in Hannover on Tuesday.

Germany, who have yet to concede a goal, lead Group C with nine points, two ahead of Azerbaijan, who stymied hosts Czech Republic 0-0 on Tuesday to remain unbeaten.

Sitting at the fourth place, behind Northern Ireland, are Norway, who got a trio of goals in the final 15 minutes to dispatch visiting San Marino 4-1.

England were mediocre in a clash with Slovenia in Ljubljana, escaping with a 0-0 draw thanks to several great stops by goalkeeper Joe Hart. But the point gained enables the English squad to remain atop Group F with seven points, trailed by Lithuania and Slovenia with 5 each.

The Lithuanians posted their first victory, toppling Malta 2-0 thanks to goals by Fedor Cernych and Arvydas Novikovas.