Clinical Germany thrash Norway in WC Qualifiers
STUTTGART, Germany (AP):
Defending championS Germany bounced back from a disappointing display to close in on World Cup qualification with a gala 6-0 rout of Norway yesterday.
Timo Werner, who had been targeted by what Germany coach Joachim Low called "so-called fans" during Friday's fortunate 2-1 win over the Czech Republic in Prague, had his name chanted in appreciation by the fans in Stuttgart, where he made his breakthrough before joining Leipzig.
"That was something special at home today," Werner said. "It's class how the fans supported me. It makes me twice as happy to play football. It means so much to me."
Werner repaid the supporters with two goals, both set up brilliantly by Thomas Muller, while Mesut Ozil scored one and set up another as the Germans maintained their 100 percent record with their eighth win from eight games in Europe's Group C.
"It shows how beautiful football can be. It was a great crowd and it was fun in front of a sold-out stadium," Low said of the carnival atmosphere. "We played our part with good combinations and brilliant goals."
Low had been scathing in his criticism of some fans who chanted Nazi slogans at the game in Prague.
"We don't want these slobs. We're not their national team. They are not our fans," said Low, who was visibly angry.
With two games remaining, Northern Ireland is assured of finishing at least second in the group after a 2-0 win over the Czechs in Belfast. Germany has 24 points and Northern Ireland 19, nine ahead of Azerbaijan, which beat San Marino 5-1.
Group winners qualify automatically for the tournament in Russia, while the top eight runners-up from nine groups go on to play-offs to decide the other four places allocated to Europe.
Azerbaijan 5 - 1 San Marino
Germany 6 - 0 Norway
Northern Ireland 2 - 0 Czech Republic
Armenia 1 - 4 Denmark
Montenegro 1 - 0 Romania
Poland 3 - 0 Kazakhstan
England 2 - 1 Slovakia
Scotland 2 - 0 Malta
Slovenia 4 - 0 Lithuania