Germany moved to the top of Group D in UEFA Euro 2016 qualification with a convincing 3-1 victory over Poland in Frankfurt.
The World Cup winners were 2-0 up by the 19th minute courtesy of strikes from Bayern Munich duo Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze.
Poland recovered well, with another Bayern man Robert Lewandowski reducing the deficit before the interval with a powerful header.
However, after striking the post, Gotze eventually made sure of the win late on when he tapped home from Muller’s rebounded effort.
Northern Ireland moved to within one win of a maiden European Championship finals appearance as they beat the Faroe Islands 3-1.
It looked set to be a frustrating night for Michael O’Neill’s side after Gareth McAuley’s early opener had been cancelled out by Joan Edmundsson.
However, they were handed a boost when Edmundsson was sent off for a ridiculous challenge on Oliver Norwood – McAuley adding his second goal soon after before Kyle Lafferty’s effort ensured the points.
Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland made light work of Gibraltar as they ran out 4-0 winners in Portugal to leapfrog Scotland – who failed to have a single shot on target as they lost 1-0 in Georgia – in the Group D standings.
Cyrus Christie’s first international goal opened the scoring midway through the first half, with Robbie Keane’s brace and Shane Long’s late header adding gloss to a straightforward triumph.
Serbia claimed their first win of Group I with a 2-0 victory over Armenia, while Group F strugglers Greece fell 1-0 to Finland.
Hungary’s hosting of Romania, and Albania’s trip to Denmark, ended scoreless – the two visiting outfits remaining unbeaten in their respective campaigns.
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