Gnabry scores de­but hat-trick as Ger­many crush San Marino

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Debu­tant Serge Gnabry scored a hat-trick as Ger­many recorded a 80 win away to San Marino in Fri­day night's 2018 World Cup qual­i­fi­ca­tion fix­ture.

The vic­tory means that Ger­many have now won all four of their Group C matches to top the sec­tion on 12 points, while San Marino re­main bot­tom, hav­ing lost each of their four matches dur­ing this cam­paign.

It took just seven min­utes for the vis­i­tors to make the break­through Ilkay Gun­do­gan set­ting up Sami Khedira, who buried the ball into the bot­tom cor­ner from close range to send Ger­many on their way dur­ing what was a com­fort­able night.

Two min­utes later, it was 2-0 as for­mer Ar­se­nal young­ster Gnabry grabbed his first from close range, before Mario Gotze teed up Jonas Hec­tor in the 32nd minute as Ger­many, who had a whole host of first-half chances, took a three-goal lead into the break.

Gnabry grabbed his sec­ond just before the hour af­ter be­ing re­leased by Joshua Kim­mich, before Gotze again set up Hec­tor in the 65th minute and the left-back found a route past Aldo Si­moncini to make it five.

Gnabry then bagged his hat-trick in the 76th minute to cap a mem­o­rable Ger­many de­but as the 21year-old col­lected a cross from Thomas Muller before fir­ing into the back of the net.

It was to get worse for the home side, how­ever, as an own goal from Mat­tia Ste­fanelli made it 7-0 in the 82nd minute, before Kevin Vol­land net­ted four min­utes later to cap a mis­er­able night for San Marino.

Eng­land ease past Scot­land at Wem­b­ley

Eng­land have taken an­other step to­wards qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the 2018 World Cup in Rus­sia courtesy of a 3-0 vic­tory over fierce ri­vals Scot­land at Wem­b­ley this evening.

Headed goals from Daniel Stur­ridge, Adam Lal­lana and Gary Cahill made it 10 points from four games to keep Eng­land top of Group F in Gareth South­gate's last com­pet­i­tive match in in­terim charge of the team.

The open­ing goal ar­rived early enough as Ra­heem Ster­ling's blocked shot bounced into the path of Kyle Walker, who reached the by­line before cut­ting a cross into the mid­dle for Stur­ridge to glance home for his fourth goal in his last six starts for Eng­land at Wem­b­ley.

How­ever, their waste­ful­ness was pun­ished less than a minute af­ter Sn­od­grass's chance as Lal­lana glanced a well-placed header into the far cor­ner fol­low­ing an­other quick break for­ward from the hosts.

The qual­ity in the fi­nal third was prov­ing to be the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two sides, and Scot­land were once again left empty handed mo­ments af­ter Eng­land's sec­ond goal when James Mor­ri­son sent his shot straight at Joe Hart.

Any hopes of a mem­o­rable Wem­b­ley come­back against the Auld en­emy were ended shortly af­ter the hour mark when Eng­land made it a hat-trick of head­ers on the night, with Cahill dart­ing to the front post and glanc­ing Rooney's cor­ner past Craig Gor­don.

Ger­many’s Sami Khedira, right, cel­e­brates with his team­mate Serge Gnabry

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