Germany too strong for Ireland U21s
Republic of Ireland 0 Germany 4
Germany have knocked Ireland off top spot in their European Qualifying group following a comprehensive 4-0 win in Sligo's Showgrounds.
Ireland had the first half chance with six minutes gone. Aiden O'Brien ran at the defence and out-muscled centre half Antonio Rudiger. The Crawley striker got his shot away but it ran weakly into the arms of ter Stegen.
The opener came on 12 minutes. A good Germany move saw the ball make its way to Moritz Leitnar 25 yards out. The Stuttgart midfielder had time to take a touch before firing a rasping shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net past the despairing Aaron McCarey.
Eight minutes later, Ireland an excellent opportunity of their own. A good exchange of passes between O'Brien and Sean Murray led to a shot from Watford man that was well saved by ter Stegen. Samir Carruthers blasted the rebound over.
Germany's second was disastrous from a defensive point of view for Noel King's side. Anthony O'Connor sliced a routine-looking clearance into the path of Kevin Volland who was left with luxury of strolling in and tapping it home unchallenged.
It quickly went from bad to worse for the Irish as Volland grabbed his second just two minutes later. This time a cross from Armin Younes found the head of the Hoffenheim striker who dispatched the ball unchallenged.
Horst Hrubesch's team were now dominating proceedings and were unlucky not to grab a fourth on 31 minutes when Eric Durm found himself in acres of space on the edge of the area but he only succeeded in firing his shot into the side netting.
The second half began in much the same vein as the lively Nico Schulz burst through the Irish cover. His shot was well blocked by Shane Duffy, who was probably Ireland's best player.
Germany were keeping their opponents penned back and threatened constantly.
The first bright moment of the half for King's men came on the hour, when a neat passing move gave half time substitute Connor Smith space for a shot which forced ter Stegen to scramble down to his right to save.
Ireland were reduced to 10 men two minutes later as Carruthers was shown a second yellow for a late tackle on another substitute, Leonardo Bittencourt,
The Germans were able to take their foot off the gas after that without ever looking seriously threatened. The fourth did eventually come with six minutes left. A slip from Smith let the ball fall for the newly-introduced Phillip Hoffman on the edge of the area and he smashed a powerful drive low past McCarey.
That rounded out the scoring and left Noel King with plenty to ponder ahead of his side's next qualifier against Romania next month.
Republic of Ireland: Aaron McCarey; Michael Harriman, Shane Duffy ©, Anthony O'Connor, Sean McGinty; Matt Doherty, Samir Carruthers; Sean Murray, Callum Reilly (Jack Grealish 78), Anthony Forde (Conor Smith 46); Aiden O'Brien (Graham Burke 82).
Germany: Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Eric Durm, Antonio Rudiger, Shkodran Mustafi, Michael Vitzthum; Moritz Lietner (Robin Knoche 74), Leon Goretzka; Jonas Hoffman (Danny Viera Da Costa 46), Amin Younes (Phillip Hoffman 66), Nico Schulz; Kevin Volland ©.
Referee: Domagoj Vuckov (Croatia)