Germany have unsurprisingly clinched a place in the World Cup finals in Brazil, while Ireland will miss out on the tournament for yet another cycle. They had a chance to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot on Friday, but their final match won't mean anything after Die Mannschaft's impressive 3-0 win.
Sami Khedira netted the opener early, helped by a very lucky deflection. Philipp Lahm set up the goal with a great through ball to Khedira, whose shot might have gone in without any help, but it certainly didn't hurt that it pin-balled off a pair of Ireland defenders to give David Forde no chance to make a stop. The Germans kept on the gas and had chances to score more in the first half -- Andre Schürrle had their best opportunity in the 35th minute with a header that was saved -- but they couldn't extend their lead.
Ireland got off to a good start in the second half with Anthony Stokes and James McCarthy just missing in the opening two minutes of the period. Stokes had another great chance in the 52nd minute when he caught Manuel Neuer well off his line, but the Irish forward was unable to capitalize on the chance. Six minutes later, Schürrle made Ireland pay for their inability to finish.
Germany's second came off a corner, and it was gorgeous. Toni Kroos set it up with a lofted ball into the box for Schürrle, who took a fantastic first touch, then made an even better turn before placing a low shot past Forde. Germany were well in control and added to their win in stoppage time, with Mesut Özil finishing off a through ball from Kroos.
Germany: Neuer, Jansen, Mertesacker, Boateng, Lahm, Khedira (Kruse 82'), Schweinsteiger, Schürrle (Götze 86'), Kroos, Özil, Müller (Sam 88')
Goals: Khedira (12'), Schürrle (58'), Özil (90')
Ireland: Forde, Delaney, Kelly, Clark, Coleman, Wilson, Whelan, McCarthy, Gibson, Stokes, Doyle