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World Cup Qualifiers: Germany, England continue winning ways

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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. However, the 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 second position after beating Norway 2-0 at home. Czech Republic crushed over minnows San Marino 6-0, two points behind on third.

34-year-old English forward Jermain Defoe made his international comeback, playing his first game since November 2013 to help England break the deadlock in the 22nd minute, before substitute Jamie Vardy doubled the lead for England, who sit 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 lead Group E with 13 points after going past Montenegro 2-1. Romania and Denmark played out a goalless draw. Armenia overcame bottom-ranked Kazakhstan 2-0.

Nine group winners in Europe will go directly through to the FIFA World Cup in Russia come 2018, while the last four spots will be decided on the play-offs among the eight best second-place finishers.