Czarek Sokolowski/AP
October 11, 2014

In front of a sell-out crowd in Warsaw, Poland finally did it.

The Poles beat World Cup winner Germany 2-0 for their first win in 19 meetings with the Mannschaft to move three points clear of its powerful rival in European Championship qualifying on Saturday. It was Germany's first defeat after 18 competitive games, and its first loss in qualifying after 33 matches.

Also in Group D, Robbie Keane's hat trick helped Ireland thrash Gibraltar 7-0, taking his international goals tally to 65 and becoming the top scorer in European Championship qualifying history, with 21 goals. Elsewhere, Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba scored France's goals in a 2-1 win over Portugal in a friendly, while Northern Ireland earned a second Group F win with a 2-0 defeat of the Faroe Islands.

The top two finishers from the nine groups qualify automatically. The best third-placed team also qualifies automatically and the other eight can qualify through a playoff.

Group D

Bursting with joy and pride, thousands of Poland fans in national white-and-red scarfs chanted "We are the world champion," and "Goodbye Germany" in German, as they streamed out from the National Stadium in Warsaw where Poland beat Germany 2-0. Arkadiusz Milik scored with Poland's first shot on target in the 51st minute, and Robert Lewandowski set up Sebastian Mila to seal the result in the 88th.

"We took our chances. We had two or three and we scored two goals. Germany had a lot of chances and they didn't take them," said Lukasz Piszczek, who set up Milik's opener.

It was Germany's first loss in qualifying since a 3-0 loss at home to the Czech Republic in October 2007. Earlier, Keane's hat trick in a 13-minute span helped Ireland to a thrashing of Gibraltar in Dublin, and Scotland scraped a 1-0 win over Georgia in Glasgow thanks to Akaki Khubutia's first-half own goal.

After two games, Poland and Ireland lead the group with maximum points, with Germany and Scotland behind on three. Germany hosts Ireland in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday, while Poland plays Scotland in Warsaw.

Group F

Northern Ireland scored twice in 21 minutes against the Faroe Islands as goals from Gareth McAuley and Kyle Lafferty helped the hosts take command of the group after Finland dropped points against Greece in a 1-1 draw.

The Faroes missed the chance to pull one back when Frodi Benjaminsen's penalty was saved by Roy Carroll. Finland failed to move to the top of the group in Helsinki as Mixu Paatelainen's side rallied to share the points with a Greece side which claimed its first.

Nikolaos Karelis put the visitors in front in the first half before Jarkko Hurme equalized with a superb volley into the bottom-left corner.

In Bucharest, a superb free kick from Balazs Dzsudzak earned Hungary a point after Raul Rusescu put Romania in front.

"It isn't a fair result because Hungary did not figure until the 82nd minute when they scored," Romania captain Razvan Rat said. "They did not manage to reach our level. That's why it is a big disappointment for us, because we really dropped points."

Group I

Albania came close to securing a second win in as many games and a first win over the Danes in more than 50 years after Ermir Lenjani beat goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel with a deflected shot in the 38th. But substitute Lasse Vibe leveled from close range with nine minutes to go.

Also, winger Zoran Tosic scored a last-minute equalizer as Serbia drew with Armenia 1-1. Albania and Denmark top the group standings after two matches. Tosic avoided embarrassment for the Serbs with a left-footed shot from outside the box after being set up by Dusan Tadic in the 90th.

Robert Arzumanyan put Armenia in front with a diving header in the 73rd, and the hosts looked set for their first ever win over Serbia. Armenia, which failed to score in its three previous games against Serbia, squandered the opportunity to double its advantage when Marcos Pizelli's penalty in the 83rd was saved by goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.

The group's other team, Portugal, lost 2-1 in a friendly in France. The hosts secured a ninth straight win against Portugal as Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba found the net. Ricardo Quaresma's penalty in the 77th could not prevent newly appointed coach Fernando Santos from tasting defeat in his first match in charge.

Portugal, which lost its group opener 1-0 to Albania, travels to Denmark on Tuesday looking for its first points.

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