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Germany strike seven past stubborn Gibraltar

Gibraltar 0-7 Germany
A saved penalty helped Gibraltar hold out for 28 minutes but in the end an André Schürrle hat-trick ensured a comfortable away win.

Highlights: Gibraltar 0-7 Germany

Germany stay within a point of Group D leaders Poland after victory in Faro
Bastian Schweinsteiger has penalty saved and Gibraltar hold out for 28 minutes
André Schürrle breaks deadlock and in second-half flurry completes a hat-trick
Next games: Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland, Germany v Poland (4 September)

Gibraltar proved they could go toe to toe with Germany in the first half but in the end the world champions scored six after the break to comfortably secure the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group D points.

Germany were given a golden chance to take the lead in the tenth minute after Jake Gosling brought down Jonas Hector in the box, but Jordan Perez guessed correctly to save Bastian Schweinsteiger's penalty. The Gibraltar goalkeeper was in inspired form while at the other end Aaron Payas's free-kick was stopped by Roman Weidenfeller and Liam Walker's long-range effort flew narrowly wide.

Having held out for 28 minutes, their longest resistance yet in the group, Gibraltar conceded when André Schürrle capitalised on a mistake by Ryan Casciaro and proceeded to slot underneath the advancing Perez. This did not discourage Gibraltar, because minutes later a Joseph Chipolina cross was met by Gosling at the far post but he somehow only managed to find the hands of Weidenfeller from close range.

The visitors were still looking for a second yet Mesut Özil, Patrick Herrmann and Hector were all frustrated by Perez. However, two goals early in the second period eased any German nerves as Max Kruse – who had replaced Mario Götze – tapped in after a cutback from Özil and İlkay Gündoğan placed a shot past Perez.

It was four when Perez palmed the ball to Özil, who set up Karim Bellarabi for his first Germany strike. Jean Carlos Garcia, Lee Casciaro and Walker all tested Weidenfeller but Schürrle soon scored two more for his hat-trick, the VfL Wolfsburg ace following up on the rebound after Perez's super stop from Gündoğan, then profiting from another piece of fine work by Özil for another simple finish. Kruse completed the rout when he pounced on a loose ball towards the end.

With leaders Poland also winning today, second-placed Germany remain a point behind in the run-up to their September showdown. They are also two in front of Scotland, held 1-1 in the Republic of Ireland.