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England and Germany booked their places at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup after progressing to the semi-finals of the UEFA U-17 European Championship football tournament.

In the first of Saturday's two quarter-finals, England defeated the Republic of Ireland 1-0 at the SRC Velika Gorika Stadium. Saturday's other quarter-final saw Germany come from behind to defeat the Netherlands 2-1 in Zapresic.

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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.

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The FIFA Women’s World Ranking has a new team at the top for the first time since March 2015, with Germany back at the summit. The European champions have dethroned ranking stalwarts the USA – who now sit in second – in a table that has been shaped by an eventful three months of friendly matches and invitational tournaments.

Shock results at the recent SheBelieves Cup have done the most to end the Stars & Stripes’ reign, with the hosts losing twice to finish bottom of the standings – leading to their lowest number of points (2105) since the ranking’s inception. That has allowed Germany to leapfrog them into top spot, although the new leaders also lost ranking points at the same tournament, having been the only side to lose to the USA before eventually finishing second.

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Former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski ended his long international football career in a fine style, scoring a tremendous goal to lead Germany to a 1-0 victory over England in a friendly here.

The 31-year-old on Wednesday boosted his goal tally for Germany to 49 in 131 matches, including the side's triumphant 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign.

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A friendly against old rivals England will give forward Lukas Podolski a perfect farewell from the German football team. After three World Cups and four European Championship participations, the 31-year-old will appear in a German shirt for the 130th and last time in Dortmund on Wednesday evening.

Poland-born Podolski might not have been one of Germany's top stars but was basically ever-present since first being called up for international duty in June 2004. In his 13-year career, Podolski has won the third most caps for his country and his 48 goals put him third in the goal-scoring list behind Miroslav Klose (71) and Gerd Mueller (68).

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German head coach Joachim Loew has demanded radical changes to the country's youth coaching programme.

"We've got to improve the cognitive aspects. As for the physical aspects, we've reached the limits in football. But when it comes to the cognitive part there's still a lot of room for improvement," said the 57-year-old in an interview on Wednesday.

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England defeated Scotland 3-0 in the fourth round of the European qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup even as France had to come from behind to secure a 2-1 win over Sweden. Defending champions Germany, meanwhile, pummeled San Marino 8-0 on Friday to remain perfect in the competition.

The English prevailed at Wembley through goals by Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill to claim the top spot in Group F with 10 points, two ahead of Slovenia, who eked out a 1-0 win away at Malta. Slovakia vaulted over Lithuania into third place in the group with a 4-0 defeat of the Baltic side, who have five points.

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