Faro-Loule - Andre Schürrle netted a hat-trick as Germany eased to a 7-0 victory over Gibraltar to move into second place in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group D.
After Bastian Schweinsteiger saw a tenth-minute penalty saved, Schürrle broke Gibraltar’s resistance in the 28th minute with a neat finish. Although the world champions failed to add to the opener before the break, two goals each in the second half from the VfL Wolfsburg attacker and Max Kruse, as well as strikes from Ilkay Gündogan and Karim Bellarabi secured victory at a canter for Joachim Löw’s side.
According to the script
With the Germany boss opting for three at the back in an effort to press the opposition high up the pitch, the world champions were sent a warning early on when Liam Walker tested Roman Weidenfeller. Undeterred, the visitors continued to spray the ball confidently, only for Schweinsteiger to be denied from the spot. It took until Schürrle’s excellent finish for the deadlock to be broken, although Germany failed to add to the opener with Mesut Özil, Patrick Herrmann and Schürrle all denied by Perez before the interval.
Within two minutes of the restart, Kruse doubled the lead, poking home Özil’s cross from close range and shortly afterwards, Gündogan made it three with a solo effort. Bellarabi fired home in the 57th minute and the hosts were only given eight minutes of respite before the Nationalmannschaft were at it again, Gündogan teeing up Schürrle to hammer home from close range. The Wolfsburg star completed his hat-trick with 19 minutes remaining, before Kruse volleyed home a seventh in the closing stages as Löw's men ended the season in fine style.
Gibraltar: Perez; J. Chipolina, R. Casciaro, R. Chipolina, Garcia; Payas (Sergeant, 82'), Walker, Gosling, K. Casciaro (Bosio, 78'); L. Casciaro, Priestley (Coombes, 61')
Germany: Weidenfeller; Rudy, Boateng, Hector; Bellarabi, Schweinsteiger, Gündogan (Khedira, 67'), Herrmann (Podolski, 56'); Özil, Götze (Kruse, 35'), Schürrle
Goals: 1-0 Schürrle (28'); 2-0 Kruse (47'); 3-0 Gündogan (51'); 4-0 Bellarabi (57'); 5-0 Schürrle (65'); 6-0 Schürrle (71'); 7-0 Kruse (81')