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Germany hits seven past San Marino

To the rescue: Harry Kane capped his first game as England skipper with this late strike against Scotland.

To the rescue: Harry Kane capped his first game as England skipper with this late strike against Scotland.  

Kane saves England’s blushes with injury time equaliser

Germany ran up an expected goal avalanche in thrashing San Marino 7-0 as Harry Kane celebrated his first start as England captain with a late equaliser to deny Scotland.

Having already trounced San Marino 8-0 in the reverse fixture, Germany’s almost second string line-up quickly set about running up another rugby score in Nuremberg.

Julian Draxler opened the scoring on 11 minutes before a brace from Sandro Wagner had the Germans 3-0 up before the half hour mark.

Amin Younes added the fourth seven minutes before the break while Shkodran Mustafi added a fifth two minutes after the restart.

Julian Brandt made it six 18 minutes from time before Wagner completed his hat-trick on 85 minutes as Germany continued its perfect start to qualifying, a feat matched only by Switzerland in Group B.

In Glasgow, Kane’s scored three minutes into injury time in a match between old enemies that burst into life in the dying moments.

There had been little warning of what was to come during a largely uninspiring encounter that only started to warm up once English substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had given the visitors a 1-0 lead on 70 minutes.

But two sumptuous free—kicks from Leigh Griffiths in the final three minutes looked to have given Scotland a stunning turnaround victory.

Yet a first win over the English since 1999 was denied Gordon Strachan’s team deep into stoppage time as Kane fired home a cross from Raheen Sterling to earn a 2-2 draw.

“At 60 years old, that would have been the best result of my footballing career,” said Strachan.

“To do what they did was phenomenal. You can’t do any more than they did. It was like a middleweight fighting a heavyweight.”

It meant England avoided a first qualifying defeat since October 2009.

The results: Group C: Azerbaijan 0 lost to Northern Ireland 1 (Dallas 90+2); Norway 1 (Suderlund 55-pen) drew with Czech Republic 1 (Gebre Selassie 36); Germany 7 (Draxler 11, Wagner 16, 29, 85, Younes 38, Mustafi 47, Brandt 72) bt San Marino 0.

Group E: Kazakhstan 1 (Kuat 76) lost to Denmark 3 (Jorgensen 27, Eriksen 51-pen, Dolberg 81); Poland 3 (Lewandowski 29-pen, 57, 62-pen) bt Romania 1 (Stancu 77); Montenegro 4 (Beciraj 2, Jovetic 28, 54, 82) bt Armenia 1 (Koryan 89).

Group F: Scotland 2 (Griffiths 87, 90) drew with England 2 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 70, Kane 90+3); Slovenia 2 (Ilicic 45+2, Novakovic 84) bt Malta 0; Lithuania 1 (Sernas 90+3) lost to Slovakia 2 (Weiss 32, Hamsik 58).

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 10:16:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/germany-hits-seven-past-san-marino/article18961821.ece

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