Ireland's World Cup 2014 European Group C qualifying opponents Germany and Austria both collected three points on Friday night.

Two goals in three first-half minutes helped Germany to pick up three points as they won 3-0 in Kazakhstan.

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gotze's quickfire goals in the 20th and 22nd minutes unlocked the game for Joachim Low's men before Thomas Muller wrapped up victory for the Germans.

Kazakhstan tried to make a game of it, particularly in the second half, but the third goal knocked the stuffing out of them as they raised the white flag in Astana to remain on one point in qualifying Group C.

It was hardly the walk in the park that Germany had hoped for on the artificial pitch in Astana.

Low's charges appeared to be in perfect control of the game early on, but the final ball was lacking and, apart from a speculative shot from Julian Draxler, who left the field shortly after a clash of heads to be replaced by Lukas Podolski, the Kazakhstan goal was rarely threatened.

Germany finally made the breakthrough in the 21st minute when Schweinsteiger juggled the ball onto his right foot inside the penalty area and his snapshot, which appeared to take a decisive deflection off Muller, flew inside the far post.

Just a minute later, confusion between the Kazakhstan goalkeeper and a defender saw the ball spill out to Gotze, who chipped it in from 10 yards.

Germany failed to build on their two-goal advantage, though, and an enthusiastic crowd did what they could to lift their side's spirits.

It seemed to work with substitute Ulan Konysbaev rattling the crossbar with a fine 20-yard effort in the 69th minute.

Two minutes later, Heinrich Schmidtgal, who plies his trade in the Bundesliga for Greuther Furth, tested Manuel Neuer, who responded with an excellent one-handed save to protect the near side of is goal.

Muller then ended the home team's hopes with Germany's third in the 74th minute.

Another defensive mix-up led to Gotze playing in Mesut Ozil, who teed up Muller to stroke the ball in from eight yards.

Austria hammer the Faroe Islands
Austria cruised to their second win of the World Cup qualifying campaign by crushing the Faroe Islands 6-0 in Vienna.

Needing to keep the pressure on Sweden and the Republic of Ireland in Group C, Austria dominated from the off against the group minnows and were 3-0 up inside the opening 30 minutes.

Philipp Hosiner had already been denied twice by Gunnar Nielsen - the first after just 18 seconds - before grabbing an eighth-minute opener when he tucked in Christian Fuchs' cross.

Hosiner got the second as well from close range in the 20th minute before Andreas Ivanschitz made it 3-0 with a strong left-footed shot from just outside the area.

Nielsen had work to do to deny Zlatko Junuzovic and Marko Arnautovic and keep the score down before half-time.

Austria seemed determined to add further goals after the break.

David Alaba rattled the crossbar with a left-footed shot five minutes after the restart and then Nielsen had to be alert to make successive blocks from Junuzovic and Arnautovic in quick succession as the hour-mark approached.

Andreas Weimann came on to try his hand and soon forced Nielsen into a good save, the goalkeeper pushing a right-footed shot away for a corner before Weimann blazed another over the crossbar.

Just as it was beginning to look like Austria would be frustrated in a bid to boost their goal difference, three goals in quick succession put a gloss on the scoreline.

Alaba created the first, finding Junuzovic in space to fire in from 20 yards in the 76th minute, then scored the second himself from close range when he was picked out by Weimann moments later.

It was 6-0 in the 82nd minute with Weimann again the creator, finding Gyorgy Garics to score from the edge of the area.