TALLINN (Reuters) – Germany overcame an early red card to Emre Can and eventually eased to a 3-0 victory away to Estonia on Sunday in a Euro 2020 qualifier to go joint-top of Group C.
Joachim Loew’s side had hammered Estonia 8-0 at home back in June but got off to a rocky start in Tallinn when midfielder Can was shown a straight red card in the 14th minute for a studs up challenge.
Estonia put Germany under pressure for large parts of the first half but could not capitalise on their numerical advantage, while Marco Reus hit the post for Germany.
The visitors came out far stronger after the interval and Ilkay Gundogan gave them the lead in the 51st minute with a shot from outside the box which took a deflection off Reus.
Gundogan also helped double Germany’s advantage in the 57th as his shot took a big deflection off Karol Mets and was given as an own goal, while substitute Timo Werner rounded off the scoring in the 71st minute.
“The decisive factor was that we increased the tempo in the second half and kept calm,” Germany coach Loews told reporters.
“I’m happy we got the job done. It was tough out there but we did well in the second half.”
Captain Manuel Neuer added: “We were down to 10 men after 15 minutes, which makes everything more difficult as you have to reset. It was always going to be a matter of time before we took our chances and the goals arrived.”
The victory takes Germany second in of Group C with 15 points after six games, while the Netherlands, also on 15, are top.
Northern Ireland are third on 12, with Estonia bottom on one point after seven games.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge)