Germany secured their sport at the top of Group C with as dominant a 1-0 win as will ever be seen; Northern Ireland should still come through in third place thanks to the three points they won against Ukraine.

From kick-off, Germany dominated territory and possession – and, take note,Roy Hodgson – created a wealth of chances. Thomas Muller, whose finishing was curiously awry, hit both post and bar, but Michael McGovern in the Northern Ireland goal was also in inspired form.

Even so, Germany still managed to take the lead after 29 minutes, when Muller ran onto Mesut Ozil’s superb pass – he was superb in the first half – turned and set Mario Gomez for a shot that was just about good enough.

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The second half was less interesting, the teams appearing to make a silent pact of non-aggression. Germany still pushed, but without intensity, while Northern Ireland created not a single serious chance. Both teams can play better.

Group C

Played Won Draw Lost For Against Goal difference Points
GERMANY
3 2 1 0 3 0 3 7
POLAND
3 2 1 0 2 0 2 7
NORTHERN IRELAND
3 1 0 2 2 2 0 3
UKRAINE
3 0 0 3 0 5 -5 0

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