Germany had to survive a brave Northern Ireland comeback to hold on for victory at Mourneview Park in Lurgan and will now need to defeat Romania on Tuesday to win Group 10.
Dieter Eilts' side were on course for a comfortable away victory after establishing a 3-0 lead - the same scoreline by which the Romanians defeated Northern Ireland in the first game in the section - but the visitors were happy to hang on for a 3-2 win in the end.
Roberto Hilbert punished an error by Jeff Hughes to open the scoring in the 13th minute and Germany doubled their lead in the 35th when Hilbert turned provider to set up a second for Patrick Helmes. Piotr Trochowski then scored what proved to be the winner with a spectacular 25-metre shot in the 65th minute.
However, Dean Shiels quickly pulled one back from the penalty spot after a handball by Marvin Matip and the visitors had to endure a nervous final ten minutes after Thomas Stewart fired in a second for the hosts. Germany held on to set the pool up for a dramatic conclusion in Wilhelmshaven in four days' time.