EURO 2016 qualifying roundup: Germany edge Scotland; Northern Ireland secure playoff place

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A recap of Monday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Scotland 2-3 Germany

Scotland came back from a goal down twice against the reigning world champions on Monday, but a third equalizing goal was too much to ask for Gordon Strachan’s side, as they fell to Germany, 3-2, at Hampden Park.

Thomas Mueller scored the 29th and 30th goals of his international career (he is 25 years old) to give Germany leads at 1-0 and 2-0, only to be canceled out by an own goal scored by Mats Hummels and James McArthur‘s half-volleyed beauty, all before halftime. Ilkay Gundogan turned home the eventual winner, finishing a cut-back cross from Mueller, nine minutes into the second half, and Joachim Loew’s side shut up shop defensively and saw out their victory to remain top of Group D, three points from direct qualification to EURO 2016 in France.

Northern Ireland 1-1 Hungary

Northern Ireland are one stop closer to qualifying for their first major tournament since the 1986 World Cup (they have never been to the European Championship) after playing third-place Hungary to a 1-1 draw in Group F action Monday. Richard Guzmics’ 74th-minute goal looked destined to win all three points for the visitors, but Kyle Lafferty turned home a spilled rebound right in front of goal in the 93rd minute to give the 10-man hosts a vital draw. Still atop Group F, Northern Ireland (17 points) three more from their final two games to qualify directly to next summer’s tournament.

Albania 0-1 Portugal

It looks as if Cristiano Ronaldo is going to get one more chance to win put together a respectable performance at a major tournament for Portugal. Miguel Veloso scored in the 92nd minute to top Albania and keep the Portuguese top of Group I (15 points), one point from direct qualification to EURO 2016.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Poland 8-1 Gibraltar
Ireland 1-0 Georgia

Group F

Finland 1-0 Faroe Islands
Romania 0-0 Greece

Group I

Armenia 0-0 Denmark