GLASGOW: Thomas Mueller scored twice and set up another goal as Germany beat Scotland 3-2 on Monday to move to the brink of qualifying for Euro 2016 after all but securing a top-two finish in Group D with two games left.
The world champions now have 19 points while Poland, 8-1 winners over Gibraltar, are on 17.Ireland, who beat Georgia 1-0 and next face Germany in October, are third with 15 points. Scotland have 11 following their second defeat in four days.
The top two automatically reach the finals in France.
Mueller underlined his fine form, he has scored five times in three Bundesliga games this season, by netting in the 18th minute with a deflected effort.The red-hot forward added his second with a close-range header after Scotland had levelled with a Mats Hummels own goal.
Mueller, who was also on target in Friday's 3-1 victory over Poland, then rode to the rescue again after the home team had levelled once more with a shot from James McArthur before halftime.
The 25-year-old Mueller set up the winner, cutting the ball back for Ilkay Guendogan to fire in off the post in the 54th minute."Thomas has had a great run and he is always where the striker has to be, in the five-metre area," coach Joachim Loew told reporters.
"We gave the same performance as we did against Poland. We wanted the six points from these two games, now we play in Ireland and at home against Georgia."
Facing two defensive four-man lines, Germany initially struggled to create chances and needed a lucky goal from their first real opportunity as Mueller's seemingly harmless low drive from the edge of the box wrong-footed keeper David Marshall.
Scotland also had some good fortune when keeper Manuel Neuer saved a curling Shaun Maloney free kick but Hummels chested the rebound into his own net.
Mueller nodded in another rebound after Marshall had denied Emre Can before McArthur's shot drew the Scots level again as Gordon Strachan's men refused to buckle.
Guendogan then restored Germany's lead in the second period after combining with Mueller.
Scotland gradually conceded more and more space and the Germans would have bagged more goals but for the excellent Marshall."Let's get this straight we're still in this," said a defiant Strachan of his team's qualifying chances.
"After going behind to the world champions and to keep coming back, keep plugging away, they can be proud."