Defending champion Germany booked its place at next year’s World Cup and stayed perfect in qualifying by beating Northern Ireland 3-1 on Thursday.
Sebastian Rudy and Sandro Wagner scored in the first half and Joshua Kimmich wrapped it up late as Germany made it nine wins from nine games to be certain of finishing top in Europe Group C.
Josh Magennis claimed the home side’s consolation after a corner in injury time.
Germany moved eight points clear of Northern Ireland, which was already assured of at least second place, with just one round of games remaining.
Group winners qualify automatically for the finals in Russia, while the top eight runners-up from nine groups go on to playoffs to decide the other four places allocated to Europe. Already out of contention, the Czech Republic defeated Azerbaijan 2-1 in Baku to move to third, and Mohamed “Moi” Elyounoussi scored a hat trick in Norway’s 8-0 rout of San Marino.