Germany, Netherlands secure Euro 2020 berths
Lukas Schulze - UEFA / UEFA / Getty

Continental heavyweights Germany and the Netherlands secured spots in next summer's European Championship courtesy of a pair of results in Group C qualifiers on Saturday.

Germany topped Belarus 4-0 in Monchengladbach to snatch top billing in the group, while the Dutch saw out a scoreless draw versus Northern Ireland in Belfast to cement a top-two finish and an automatic qualification for Euro 2020.

Gladbach defender Matthias Ginter picked an ideal time to open his Germany account. Die Mannschaft took the lead four minutes before the break when Serge Gnabry's low cross was met by a backheel flick from Ginter. It was his first goal in 29 outings with the national team.

Ginter's finish set the table for a dominant second half. Toni Kroos recorded a brace and Leon Goretzka scored for Joachim Low's charges as the hosts managed a dozen shots on target to Belarus' five.

Northern Ireland will be kicking themselves after squandering an opportunity to take a first-half advantage in Belfast.

Steven Davis comically skied an effort from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute after Joel Veltman was harshly judged to have handled the ball in the area, keeping the scoreline locked at zeros.

Despite a second half that largely favored the Dutch, Ronald Koeman's lot could do little to challenge Norn Iron shot-stopper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

In the end, a draw was enough to see the Netherlands guarantee no worse than a second-place finish in the group ahead of a visit from Estonia on Tuesday.

With Austria and Croatia also securing Euro berths on Saturday, 16 of the 24 allotted spots have been filled. Belgium, Italy, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Spain, Turkey, France, England, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and surprise-side Finland will all compete next summer.

Germany, Netherlands secure Euro 2020 berths
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