The World cup qualifying series continued on Friday, in Europe, with England, Switzerland and Germany all on the brink of booking a place in next year’s event.
World champions, Germany maintained their perfect record in the qualifiers, but were made to work very hard for the win, as they were made to wait so late in the game to snatch a winner.
Die Mannschaft were visitors at Czech Republic, and needed a win there to ensure that they can book a World Cup place three days later in front of their fans.
So, they got off to a brilliant start when young striker, Timo Werner gave them a half time lead, following his 4th minute opener.
However, the Czechs equalized deep into the second half, through Vladimir Darida’s 78th minute goal.
But two minutes from time, Bayern Munich defender, Mats Hummels ensured the champions maintained their perfect record as he headed in the winner.
Germany picked all three points and are now just a win away from booking their place in Russia.
Other matches in the group saw Norway pick all three points at home to Azerbaijan, following a 2-0 win, while Northern Ireland, who sit second, expectedly saw off the challenge by San Marino with a 3-0 result.
Denmark tore into group leaders, Poland, with a very convincing performance that culminated in a 4-0 defeat of their visitors at the Telia Parken.
Thomas Delaney opened the scoring in the 16th minute, before Andreas Cornelius doubled the lead late in the first half to give them a 2-0 advantage going into the break.
After the break, Nicolai Joergensen made it 3-0, before Tottenham Hotspur’s playmaker, Christian Eriksen scored the goal of the night, when he superbly curled in a fourth ten minutes from time to hand Poland their first loss in the qualifiers.
However, Montenegro made sure the Danes didn’t celebrate much as they picked up an important 3-0 away win at far away Kazakhstan at the Astana Arena, while Romania defeated Armenia 1-0 at home.
Results in this group mean that the top three sides are now separated by just three points going into the next round of matches.
Three late goals earned England what looked a comfortable 4-0 win against a stubborn Malta side, as they maintained their unbeaten record, and moved closer to World Cup qualification.
Many expected the Three Lions to have it easy against their hosts, but instead met a stubborn side as the first half ended in a rather disappointing and boring goalless draw.
However, eight minutes after the break, Harry Kane broke the deadlock, when he gave England a 1-0 lead with a finish from close range.
England had to wait until five minutes from time for their next goal, when Ryan Bertrand doubled their lead.
It soon became three, when Danny Welbeck got on the score sheet a minute into stoppage time, as 3-0 seemed to flatter England’s performance on the night.
Kane completed his brace, moments later, when he scored the fourth goal of the night for England, two minutes into added time, to complete the rout.
The result sees England stretch their unbeaten record in the qualifiers for Euros and World Cup to 36 matches, and puts them on the brink of qualifying for the World Cup next year in Russia.
Up next for Three Lions, they host Slovakia, who are second, and also defeated Slovenia 1-0 at home, thanks to an Adam Nemec goal.
Scotland also were winners, following their 3-0 defeat of Lithuania.
Slovakia 1-0 Slovenia
Romania 1-0 Armenia
Denmark 4-0 Poland
Norway 2-0 Azerbaijan
Czech Republic 1-2 Germany
Kazakhstan 0-3 Montenegro
Malta 0-4 England
Lithuania 0-3 Scotland
San Marino 0-3 N. Ireland