Four-time winners Germany have qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals for the 19th time after beating Northern Ireland by a 3-1 scoreline in Belfast on Thursday evening.

As a result, the current world champions have the chance to defend their trophy in Russia next summer.

The victory in Northern Ireland also edges Germany closer to another milestone: win against Azerbaijan on Sunday in Kaiserslautern and Joachim Löw's side will become only the second team ever to go through a European qualifying campaign and win all 10 matches (Spain managed it in 2010, going on to win the tournament).

The triumph in Belfast was doubly satisfying for those of a German persuasion: Jerome Boateng made an impressive comeback after a year away from the national side with injury, while Hoffenheim striker Sandro Wagner and Bayern Munich midfielder Sebastian Rudy furthered their claims for a place on the plane to Russia by scoring the first two goals.

Watch: take a trip down memory lane and re-live Germany's 2014 World Cup triumph...

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