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Holtby helps Germany sign off with victory

Germany 3-0 Northern Ireland
Captain Lewis Holtby scored twice in Ingolstadt, but the holders' chance of reaching the play-offs had already passed.

Patrick Herrmann and Lewis Holtby (top) celebrate Germany's third goal
Patrick Herrmann and Lewis Holtby (top) celebrate Germany's third goal ©Getty Images

Defending champions Germany signed off from the 2010/11 UEFA European Under-21 Championship with a comfortable victory, though their chance of reaching the play-offs for the finals in Denmark had already passed.

Two goals from captain Lewis Holtby and a third from Patrick Herrmann at Sportpark in Ingolstadt ensured Northern Ireland would not steal third place in Group 5 from Rainer Adrion's side. As it is, Steve Beaglehole's outfit ended up in fourth place, with the Czech Republic and Iceland taking the top two spots in the section.

A defensive error allowed winger Holtby a sight of goal on 42 minutes, with his left-footed effort from distance speeding past Conor Devlin in the Northern Ireland goal. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim midfielder Boris Vukčević then set up the 19-year-old for a second on the hour, with Herrmann profiting from a goalkeeping blunder to round off the scoring not long afterwards.

"I am pleased with how my team played in the last two games," concluded Adrion. "We tried out practically a whole new team looking ahead to the next campaign. We have lots of good young players with great potential, so I hope the next set of qualifiers will be better for us than this one."