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Sports

Germany hand Gibraltar second-half drubbing

In their final match before the summer break, Germany got an expectedly one-sided 7-0 European Championship qualification win over minnows Gibraltar. But it took a while for things to start going to plan.

Gibraltar 0-7 Germany

(Schürrle 28', 65', 71', Kruse 47', 81', Gundogan 51', Bellarabi 58')

The script for this match had world champions Germany handing down a casual thrashing to tiny Gibraltar before heading off for some well-deserved summer sun. However, the Gibraltarians initially seemed not to have read that document.

The tiny nation of 30,000 inhabitants, who play their home Euro 2016 qualifying matches in Faro, Portugal, held their own against the Germans in the first half. Joachim Löw's men were handed a penalty in minute 10 when Jake Gosling brought down Jonas Hector in the area, but Bastian Schweinsteiger looked indecisive from the spot, and Jordan Perez palmed away his weak shot.

After that the majority of chances fell to Gibraltar. Roman Weidenfeller, playing in what many think is his last match for Germany with his future at Borussia Dortmund uncertain, had a surprisingly busy first half.

André Schürrle broke the ice just before the half hour mark with a low shot past Perez, after Mario Götze nicked the ball in midfield. But Gibraltar almost equalized immediately, with Gosling drawing a desperation save from Weidenfeller from point-blank range.

Germany could have increased their lead late in the first half, but Mesut Özil and Patrick Herrmann spurned chances, and Perez came up with three fine saves. All told, Germany were slightly lucky to take a 1-0 lead into break.

Portugal Faro Fußball Euro 2016 Qualifikation Gibraltar vs. Deutschland

After a disappointing league season, André Schürrle racked up a hat-trick for Germany

Fast restart

Löw was no doubt less than amused to see his charges struggling against a team that is against not even a fully-fledged FIFA member and is competing in its first-ever European Championship campaign. And the DFB-Team returned to the pitch determined to snuff out any hint of an upset.

Two minutes after the restart, Özil tucked the ball back into the middle for Max Kruse - substituted in for an injured Götze - to knock home. And in minute 51 Kruse turned provider, finding Ilkay Gündogan who made it 3-0.

The Gibraltarians didn't give up. Lee Casciaro attempted a cheeky lob five minutes later, but Weidenfeller just tipped it over the bar. And on 57 minutes, Özil showed great vision, pulling the ball back for Karim Bellarabi to score his first-ever goal for Germany.

The floodgates were opened. Schürrle notched up his brace in minute 65, and he completed his hat-trick after a nifty long pass by Kruse and a clever flick by Özil in minute 71. Kruse finished off the 7-0 scoreline, hammering home a volley from the edge of the box ten minutes from time.

That result takes the Germans up to second in Group D behind Poland, who beat Georgia 4-0 earlier on Saturday. Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski scored a late hat-trick within the space of five minutes.

Elsewhere in the group, Scotland earned a 1-1 draw away to the Republic Ireland, which means the Bravehearts currently sit third.

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