Spirited Scots sunk by Muller

Thomas Mueller (AFP)
Thomas Mueller (AFP)

Glasgow - A double by Thomas Muller ensured world champions Germany kept hold of top spot in Group D and moved to the verge of Euro 2016 qualification.

Muller's brace help guide Germany to a 3-2 defeat of a spirited Scotland side at Hampden on Monday.

Muller, who grabbed a double in the corresponding fixture in Dortmund last year, opened the scoring in the 18th minute.

In full flow the Germans appeared unplayable as Scotland struggled for possession.

However, Gordon Strachan's side grabbed a 27th minute equaliser as the usually reliable Manuel Neuer's attempted clearance of Shaun Maloney's free-kick bounced in off defender Mats Hummels.

Mueller headed Germany back in front seven minutes later before James McArthur restored parity for a second time with a sensational strike in the 43rd minute.

Bayern Munich star Muller then turned provider for Ilkay Gundogan to put Germany ahead for the third time in the 54th minute.

Scotland now face a mammoth task to even claim a play-off place as they trail third-placed Ireland, who defeated Georgia 1-0, by four points with two games remaining.

Poland's 8-1 demolition of Gibraltar kept the Poles two points behind Germany in second.

Strachan praised the effort of his players despite the disappointment of having seen their hopes all but extinguished of reaching the finals.

"Whatever you think, over the two games, they've put in some amount of work," said Strachan, whose side lost 1-0 to Georgia last Friday.

"There is something inside them all that drives them on. They can be proud of their performances."

German coach Joachim Low felt the win was well deserved.

"This match was anything but easy for large stretches of the game but I think we largely controlled it and winning was well-deserved," the World Cup winning coach said.

"I'm proud to say we've taken a big step towards France 2016."

At Hampden, Germany's total dominance of possession paid off when Mueller broke the deadlock.

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