Germany and Netherlands made it a three wins from three in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying and their feats were matched by Norway and Montenegro on a night when Russia and Portugal injected some impetus into their campaigns.
Germany were involved in an early top-of-the-table meeting with Turkey in Group A. Although it was a home game being played in Berlin, the city's big Turkish community meant the visitors had a sizeable support. Both teams went into the match with a perfect record, but the 2008 runners-up were the team to maintain theirs, running out 3-0 winners with two goals from Miroslav Klose.
While Klaas-Jan Huntelaar struck again – making it six goals in three qualifiers – for the Netherlands in a 1-0 win in Moldova to maintain their 100% start, it was Norway and Montenegro who caught the eye, also picking up their third wins from as many games.
Montenegro defeated Switzerland 1-0 to jump above England – whom they meet on Tuesday – in Group G, with Mirko Vučinić on target again for the hosts. Coach Zlatko Kranjčar said his side had exceeded their expectations, adding: "We could have taken a point from this match and been satisfied but we took our chance and got a very important win. I managed to convince my players we could beat Switzerland and finish second in the group. They reacted brilliantly. The Swiss were organised, dangerous at times, but our defence was well prepared. Also, our goalkeeper was brilliant."
Norway won 2-1 in Cyprus and now sit atop Group H although coach Egil Olsen was happy to scrape the three points, saying: "We laid down the foundations for this win in the first half when we played very well and scored twice. I have to say Cyprus surprised me in the second half judging from how they played in the first half. They controlled the play, scored a goal and we were fortunate not to concede more."
In the same pool, Portugal put a stuttering start behind them with a 3-1 win against Denmark while Russia resisted a stirring comeback from the Republic of Ireland to win 3-2 in Dublin. The victory has put them joint top of Group B despite last month's home loss to Slovakia, who suffered a shock defeat in Armenia. Elsewhere Northern Ireland held Italy to a goalless draw in Belfast, Serbia lost 3-1 at home to Estonia and holders Spain won 3-1 at home to Lithuania.
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