November 19, 2019 / 9:41 PM / 19 days ago

Soccer-Germany crush Northern Ireland with Gnabry hat-trick to top group

FRANKFURT, Germany, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Serge Gnabry scored a hat-trick as already-qualified Germany came from a goal down to crush Northern Ireland 6-1 in their final Euro 2020 qualifier on Tuesday and finish top of Group C.

Gnabry cancelled out Michael Smith’s eighth-minute shock lead with a fine turn and shot in the 19th minute. He then drilled in their third straight after the restart following Leon Goretzka’s 43rd minute goal that had put the Germans ahead.

The 24-year-old winger then completed his hat-trick on the hour to take his tally to an impressive 13 goals in 13 internationals before Goretzka fired in from 20 metres to crown his own fine performance.

Julian Brandt completed the rout in stoppage time and the Germans, who had already made sure of their spot in next year’s tournament with Saturday’s 4-0 win over Belarus, finished on 21 points, two ahead of second-placed Netherlands. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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