13.10.2007: Germany first to qualify

German Football
By German Football October 14, 2007 00:42

13.10.2007: Germany first to qualify

Germany became the first team to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals thanks to a 0-0 draw in their Group D match against Ireland at Croke Park on Saturday.

The point was enough to secure the visitors their place with three games to spare.

Ireland’s point will do little to improve their chances of qualifying, however. They are still five points behind the Czech Republic and eight short of table-toppers Germany who both have games in hand.

Germany had the edge in terms of possession but failed to capitalise against an Irish side that went into the second half fighting, chalking up several several shots on goal that often looked more threatening than those of their opponents.

Yellow cards for Lee Carsley and Richard Dunne mean they will both miss Wednesday’s qualifier against Cyprus in Dublin while German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will also miss his side’s next qualifier.

Coach Joachim Loew told Germany’s ARD television: ‘We’re all delighted. We’ve completed the circle now. We beat Ireland in the first qualification match a year ago and now we’ve qualified for the Euro finals. Hats off to the team.’

He added: ‘We’ve played well so far (in qualifying) but I don’t think we’re still among the very best in Europe. We’ve got to work hard to reach our goals at Euro 2008.

Captain Torsten Frings said: ‘It was hard work but I think we can be proud that we’ve qualified so early, earlier than ever before.’

Defender Per Mertesacker said: ‘We proved that we can close ranks when we’re missing some key people. The way we fought for that point and kept them from scoring was a sight to behold.’

German Football
By German Football October 14, 2007 00:42
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