Thomas Muller scored twice as Germany put a further crimp in Scotland‘s hopes to qualify for Euro 2016 by winning 3-2 at Hampden Park on Monday.
Scotland were able to equalise twice, but the World Cup champions locked down on defence after Ilkay Gundogan’s 54th-minute goal gave Germany their third lead of the day.
Muller opened the scoring in the 18th minute, but the hosts cancelled that out 10 minutes later through a Mats Hummels own goal.
Germany took the lead again when Muller’s shot caromed off the post and just crept across the line, but James McArthur again brought Scotland level with a looping volley from 18 yards.
Muller turned provider in the second half, cutting through the hosts’ defence before crossing to Gundogan, whose shot from 12 yards went in off the post.
Scotland’s loss was Ireland‘s gain as they defeated Georgia 1-0 to move into third place, four points clear of their Irish Sea rivals with two games to play.
Jonathan Walters was well positioned to tap in on 69 minutes after Jeff Hendrick’s remarkable run past three Georgia defenders on the side of the box.
Poland eased past Gibraltar 8-1, though a late concession gave the visitors their second competitive goal.
Kamil Grosicki, Robert Lewandowski and Arkadiusz Milik all scored twice, while Jakub Blaszczykowski added another from the penalty spot and Bartosz Kapustka added a late goal. Jake Gosling had the last word for the visitors three minutes from time.
Germany lead the group on 19 points, two ahead of Poland in the automatic qualifying spots, while Ireland are in position to advance to the playoffs ahead of Scotland.
In Group I, Portugal had to wait until stoppage time to find a winner at Albania.
Miguel Veloso’s goal following a corner gave Portugal a 1-0 win and put them in control of the group on 15 points, three clear of Denmark with a game in hand.
Denmark‘s qualification hopes suffered a major blow as they were held to a 0-0 draw in Armenia.
Yura Movsisyan and Artem Simonyan missed Armenia’s best chances in the second half, while Nicklas Bendtner saw a shot saved by Gevorg Kasparov in Yerevan.
Kyle Lafferty scored a last-gasp equaliser to push Northern Ireland closer to qualification from Group F with a 1-1 draw against Hungary.
Richard Guzmics had supplied the visitors a 74th minute lead after keeper Michael McGovern fumbled a catch.
The hosts’ chances seemed bleak when Chris Baird received two yellow cards in two minutes, being sent off seven minutes from time.
But Lafferty followed up a rebound in the 93rd minute to give Northern Ireland a cruicial point, keeping them one point ahead of Romania atop the group and four clear of Hungary in the automatic qualification spots.
Romania were held to a goalless draw at home against Greece, who have already been eliminated from contention.
Finland kept their slim hopes of reaching the playoff alive by beating the Faroe Islands 1-0.
Joel Pohjanpalo’s 23rd-minute goal moved Finland within three points of Hungary for third place.
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