Northern Ireland 1 Germany 3

Northern Ireland 1 Germany 3

Kyle Lafferty and Lee Hodson were both given the nod to start Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Germany at Windsor Park.

It was a dominant Germany performance and Northern Ireland now head to Norway needing something from their final group game - but they still have a chance of making the World Cup finals in Russian Federation next summer.

INTRO: Terrific first-half strikes from Sebastian Rudy and Sandro Wagner against Northern Ireland ensured world champions Germany were 45 minutes away from confirming their place in Russian Federation next summer.

Northern Ireland's only goals conceded in qualifying had been the two Germany scored in their previous meeting past year in Hannover. Joachim Low's men needed 80 seconds, after which it became an exercise in damage limitation for the hosts.

Crucially for O'Neill, neither their goal difference or perilous disciplinary situation were impacted too much - and they remain very much on course for a two-legged tie in November that will determine if they will join Germany in Russian Federation.

Hoffenheim striker Sandro Wagner extended the lead for Die Mannschaft in the 21st minute after turning one defender and sending a strike into the top corner.

O'Neill's squad, who have 19 points from nine games, are still not certain of a place in November's play-offs, as only the eight best runners-up go forward to the next stage of qualifying.

He did not get it, but did get a goal moments later as he collected Thomas Muller's pass, turned on the edge of the box and rifled beyond McGovern.

Five minutes before half-time Corry Evans had a great chance to make it 2-1 but he missed when he should have scored.

Josh Magennis claimed the home side's consolation after a corner in injury time.

Sebastian Rudy's sweetly-struck effort from range 83 seconds in ended Michael McGovern's 10-hour run without conceding an global goal, and it was game over when Sandro Wagner rolled Gareth McAuley and fired home after 21 minutes.

The visitors got a third four minutes from time as the unmarked Kimmich scored, his shot beating McGovern at the near post.

However, the hosts carried more of a goal-threat in the second period, with Conor Washington hitting the crossbar.