Germany have picked up three more points in their quest for Euro 2016 qualification. The World Champions beat Gibraltar 7-0 in Faro (Portugal) on Saturday night. Bastian Schweinsteiger missed an early penalty but André Schürrle (28’) opened the scoring soon after. The floodgates opened after the break: Goals from Max Kruse (47’, 81’), Ilkay Gündogan (51’), Karim Bellarabi (57’) and Schürrle (65’, 71’) completed the rout.
The victory means that Die Mannschaft are now second in Group D with 13 points. Poland, who beat Georgia 4-0 earlier, lead the table by a point.
Joachim Löw sent out an attacking side for the game. He gave Roman Weidenfeller his competitive debut, Jerome Boateng lined up in a back three, Schweinsteiger pulled the strings; Mario Götze and hat-trick hero Schürrle played up front.
Die Mannschaft started strongly in front of 7,464 spectators and could have taken the lead inside five minutes through Sebastian Rudy, but Jordan Perez did well to keep his strike out. However, the hosts were also looking for goals early on. Liam Walker fired narrowly wide from 30 yards out after possession was lost easily.
The best chance in the opening exchanges went the way of the skipper. Jonas Hector was brought down in the box by Jake Gosling (9’) but Schweinsteiger’s penalty was turned away by Perez (10’).
The hosts remained a threat thanks to their counterattacking style of play. Adam Priestly came close to opening the scoring after 17 minutes but Dortmund’s Weidenfeller did well to keep him out. The keeper also made a spectacular save from an Aaron Payas free kick.
This stung Löw’s men into life and they took the lead soon after. Gibraltar’s Lee Casciaro lost the ball to Schürrle, who ran through the defence before slotting home. Shortly afterwards, World Cup hero Mario Götze was taken off after being involved in a heavy tackle. Max Kruse replaced him.
The opener didn’t really offer any respite to Die Mannschaft. Weidenfeller was called into action again almost immediately – he did well to prevent Gosling from levelling the scores.
Karim Bellarabi, Mesut Özil and Patrick Herrmann all had chances to extend Germany’s lead before the break but Perez was in imperious form.
The second half started perfectly for the travelling supporters as Kruse fired home after good work from Boateng and Özil (47’). It became three four minutes later when Ilkay Gündogan capitalised on an individual error before slotting home.
Bellarabi grabbed his first international goal after 57 minutes, having had an effort ruled out for offside moments earlier. André Schürrle went on to complete his hat-trick (65’, 71’) and Max Kruse put the icing on the cake with a sumptuous volley with less than 10 play.
Germany play group leaders Poland in their next qualifier. The game, which takes place in Frankfurt on 4th September, could see Löw’s men top the table with a victory.