Defending World Cup champions Germany have qualified for the global tournament of 2018 in Russia.
They did so by winning all nine of their qualifying matches to date.
On Thursday evening, they made their qualification official, by defeating Northern Ireland 3-1 in Belfast.
The hosts of that match and surprise qualifiers for EURO 2016, are second in the group behind the Germans and had already secured that second place at a minimum beforehand.
The world champions for their part needed at least a draw to ensure that they win the group and qualify for the big tournament next summer, with a game to spare.
Apart from the long-term injuries to Manuel Neuer, Marco Reus and Mario Gomez, die Mannschaft also did not have Mesut Özil, Timo Werner or Jonas Hector due to medical reasons. However, Jerome Boateng returned to the German national team after a year on the sidelines.
Despite the changes and a hostile atmosphere in the stadium, Germany took control of the match early on, taking the lead through a wonder strike by Sebastian Rudy in the second minute. Sandro Wagner then made it 2-0 in the 21st.
It was not until the second half that the home team started to put aside their immense respect for the opposition, but they did so without creating many goal scoring chances in the process.
Instead the visitors, who had calmed the game down made it 3-0, via Joshua Kimmich in the 86th minute. Then, Josh Magennis rewarded Northern Ireland for their efforts with his goal, deep into added time.
Overall, it was just another day at the office for Joachim Löw’s men and they will surely once again be one of the teams to beat at next summer’s World Cup in Russia, as long as they have better luck with injuries than they do now.