An inspired Alexandra Popp stole the show with a hat-trick as defending champions Germany defeated Romania 5-0 to strenthen their position at the Group 2 summit.
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Alexandra Popp hit a hat-trick as Germany brushed aside Romania 5-0 to take a big step towards UEFA Women's EURO 2013 in Sweden.
Despite the absence of several key players including competition top scorer Célia Okoyino da Mbabi, the excellent Popp put the third-placed side to the sword in Bielefeld, as Linda Bresonik and Dzsenifer Marozsán as scored. The win means that Germany will qualify with two matches to spare if Spain lose in Switzerland on 16 June.
The holders took control of the group with decisive wins against Spain and Switzerland in the spring, and Silvia Neid's confident team got off to a flying start in front of 7,000 spectators; Bresonik's diving header from Popp's cross giving them the lead after just 46 seconds. On 34 minutes Marozsán set up Popp for the second before getting on target herself six minutes later, slotting in from the edge of the area.
Germany dominated the second period and Popp headed in a 50th-minute fourth, before repeating the feat in the last minute to complete her treble. Neid's charges are back in qualifying action in Kazakhstan on 15 September knowing that victory would guarantee their place in Sweden next summer regardless of how other results goas they seek a sixth straight title.