Mario Gómez scored his 29th goal for Germany on Tuesday as the world champions zoomed into the Round of 16 of the ongoing Euro 2016 Championships with a lone goal win over Northern Ireland.
Despite completing overwhelming their opponents, Germany like in their previous game just could not bury the ball inside the net and could only celebrate the 30th strike from Gomez.
With the win Germany had a total of seven points same as Poland who also won by a lone goal in their last group game against Ukraine but finished second owing to inferior goals’ difference.
After a barrage of chances particularly for Thomas Muller, the breakthrough finally arrived on the half-hour mark, for the reigning world champions, as Ozil and Gomez combined to send Muller in and, while the Bayern Munich man was denied a shot himself, he teed the ball back up for Gomez to stroke home.
Despite having 10 World Cup goals to his name, Muller’s inability to end his drought at the European Championships when he latched on to a low cross from the left, only to steer his effort against the crossbar.
Moments later Northern Ireland failed to clear their lines from a corner and the ball dropped to Sami Khedira inside the area, but his first-time snapshot was blocked and Michael O’Neill’s side survived once again.
Ozil and Gomez had further sights of goal before the final whistle was finally blown, but they failed to add to their advantage as they endured a frustrating afternoon despite getting the win to top the group.
Northern Ireland, meanwhile, now face a wait to discover whether they will progress to the knockout round as one of the best third-placed teams.