Germany win, Defoe and Lewandowski pounce

Germany stormed to victory in Azerbaijan to make it five wins out of five on Sunday as Jermain Defoe returned to lead England to triumph and Robert Lewandowski scored yet again.

Mario Gomez (centre) celebrates putting Germany 3-1 up
Mario Gomez (centre) celebrates putting Germany 3-1 up ©Getty Images
  • Germany stay perfect in Group C, while Northern Ireland and Czech Republic win
  • Jermain Defoe returns with a goal as England increase Group F cushion
  • Robert Lewandowski scores in tenth straight qualifier as Poland open big Group E lead
  • Next fixtures in these groups: Friday 10 June
  • Previously this weekend: Saturday; Friday

Group C

Azerbaijan 1-4 Germany (Nazarov 31; Schürrle 19 81, Müller 36, Gomez 45)

Germany maintained one of only two perfect record in qualifying, along with Switzerland, as André Schürrle justified his first start since October 2015 by scoring twice and setting up Thomas Müller for the second that restored their lead. Azerbaijan, now eight points behind Germany, had levelled when Dmitri Nazarov became the first player to score past the world champions in the qualifying group, but any hope was extinguished when Mario Gomez scored his 30th international goal to make it 3-1 at the break.

Northern Ireland 2-0 Norway (Ward 2, Washington 33)

Jamie Ward's neatly taken early goal set Northern Ireland on their way to a win that leaves them outright second in the group, five points behind Germany but two in front of the Czech Republic. Alexander Søderlund did hit the woodwork for Norway, but shortly afterwards Conor Washington doubled the lead, leaving Norway with just the three points they managed against San Marino to their name.

San Marino 0-6 Czech Republic (Barák 17, 24, Darida 19 77pen, Gebre Selassie 26, Krmenčik 43)

The Czech Republic had matched their all-time record win with two previous 7-0 victories in San Marino, but they finished one short today as they took third place off Azerbaijan. Having only previously scored in one of their four qualifiers in this group, the visitors struck four goals within 26 minutes, including two by Antonín Barák, who also scored on his debut last time out – a 1-1 friendly draw with Denmark in November.

Group E

Montenegro 1-2 Poland (Mugoša 63; Lewandowski 40, Piszczek 82)

Robert Lewandowski scored for a tenth consecutive European Qualifier as Poland grabbed a fourth victory in Group E to soar six points clear of their second-placed opponents. The Bayern München striker broke the deadlock with a superb free-kick – his eighth goal on the road to Russia 2018 – and Łukasz Piszczek lobbed in to restore Poland's lead after Stefan Mugoša had headed the teams level.

Romania 0-0 Denmark

Denmark were left counting the cost of missed chances as they failed to make the most of some spirited late pressure to go second. Christian Eriksen, Jannik Vestergaard and Martin Braithwaite all went close to putting Åge Hareide's side in front, but they had to settle for a goalless stalemate that leaves them six points shy of Poland in third, with Romania one place and a point further back.

Armenia 2-0 Kazakhstan (Mkhitaryan 73, Özbiliz 75)

Henrikh Mkhitaryan grabbed his 20th international goal as Armenia recorded a second consecutive victory in Group E, leaving Kazakhstan bottom. The visitors lost Sergei Maliy to a second yellow card midway through the first half and Mkhitaryan slotted in a fine, low finish shortly afterwards, before substitute Aras Özbiliz volleyed in from Kamo Hovhannisyan's right-wing cross to secure victory.

Group F

England 2-0 Lithuania (Defoe 22, Vardy 66)

England are the only team yet to concede at the midway point of the European Qualifiers following this routine Wembley victory. Recalled after a long absence, Jermain Defoe fired in their opener – his first England goal in four years – before Jamie Vardy came off the bench to clip away the second for Gareth Southgate's men, who are now four points clear at the top.

Scotland 1-0 Slovenia (C Martin 88)

Chris Martin came off the bench to score with two minutes remaining to put Scotland back in contention, leaving them two points behind second-placed Slovakia and just one short of Slovenia, down to third following this first loss. Debutant Stuart Armstrong set up Martin after the home side looked to have blown their chance by missing a host of first-half openings, Leigh Griffiths notably hitting the frame of the goal from close range.

Malta 1-3 Slovakia (Farrugia 14; Weiss 2, Greguš 41, Nemec 84)

Slovakia moved into second, ahead of Slovenia but still four points behind England, courtesy of a hard-fought triumph in Malta. Vladimír Weiss stuck a stylish opener, but Jean Paul Farrugia replied quickly with his first international goal, only for Ján Greguš to restore Slovakia's lead, his low shot from distance squirming past Andrew Hogg. Adam Nemec extended the visitors' advantage after Farrugia was sent off for deliberately handling, but was then dismissed himself following a late second booking.