Germany beat Northern Ireland 2-0 at Windsor Park on Monday, September 9th to go top of Group C. The Northern Irish had won all four of their previous games but knew they were coming against their toughest test so far as they faced the former world champions.
The hosts started strong as they pressed the Germans high up the pitch. Conor Washington had an early chance saved by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
As Germany started to get back into the game, Northern Ireland had another big chance late in the half. After the visitor failed to clear their lines, the ball fell to Washington inside the box, and he failed to force it over the line.
The Germans first big chance came right at the end of the first half. Lukas Klostermann's first-time cross found Timo Werner, whose close-range effort was saved by goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
The away side took the lead early in the second half. Klostermann's cross was volleyed into the top corner by Marcel Halstenberg in the 48th minute. The Germans began to dominate as Klostermann fired a shot over before Werner had a shot tipped past the post by Peacock-Farrell.
Stuart Dallas dragged a shot wide for Northern Ireland following a counter-attack on the hour mark as the home side launched a rare second-half attack. Germany wrapped up their victory in stoppage time as substitute Kai Havertz found Serge Gnabry, who slotted the ball into the net to put the game to bed.
AFP reported that Germany manager Joachim Loew said that Northern Ireland gave his side problems early on.
"We had to overcome a few problems in the game, the Northern Irish were brave and attacked us early on," he admitted.
"We were better in the second half. We are in a learning phase," he said.