Lewandowski scores 3 as Poland beats Georgia 4-0
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Robert Lewandowski’s hat trick in the last four minutes boosted Poland to a 4-0 victory over Georgia and control of Group D in 2016 European Championship qualifying on Saturday.
Lewandowski scored in the 89th minute and twice more in stoppage time.
Andre Schuerrle also had a hat trick as World Cup champion Germany stayed second in the group by routing Gibraltar 7-0 in Faro, Portugal.
In Dublin, Scotland rallied to draw with Ireland 1-1.
Jon Walters scored for Ireland just before halftime, then Shaun Maloney’s strike was deflected in by John O’Shea just after the break.
Poland has 14 points, one more than Germany. Scotland has 11, Ireland nine, Georgia three, and Gibraltar none.
Germany labored in the first half against the part-timers from Gibraltar, with the match played in Portugal because Gibraltar does not have a suitable stadium.
Bastian Schweinsteiger fluffed a penalty in the 10th, shooting weakly as Gibraltar goalkeeper Jordan Perez dived to his left to save the shot. Perez produced fine saves but Gibraltar also had several chances to score from counterattacks.
Schuerrle put Germany on the scoreboard in the 28th, after Gibraltar defender Ryan Casciaro gave away the ball.
After the break, Germany stepped up the pace and piled on the pressure to score four more inside the first 20 minutes.
Substitute Max Kruse added two goals to Schuerrle’s three, and Ilkay Gundogan and Karim Bellarabi also scored for Germany. It was the fourth highest win for Germany in European qualifying.
In Warsaw, the home side went ahead in the 62nd through forward Arkadiusz Milik, who picked up a corner pass and curled a left-foot shot inside the far post from some 22 meters (yards) out.
Poland’s victory hung in the balance with Georgia attacking strongly late, and George Navalovsky struck the post.
Lewandowski wasted three big chances in the first half but got it right at the end. He collected a through ball from Milik to score his first, and the next two followed a similar pattern, with Jakub Blaszczykowski and Milik again providing the passes. Lewandowski has seven goals in six qualifying matches.
Ireland scored after a header by Daryl Murphy from a corner was parried by David Marshall, only for the ball to fall kindly for Walters from can’t-miss range.
Maloney’s equalizer from the edge of the Irish area bounced off the back of O’Shea and in.