Germany put a dire first half behind them to run out 3-0 winners over wasteful Austria in their Euro 2008 dress rehearsal at the Ernst Happel Stadium on Wednesday.
The European Championship co-hosts had Germany on the ropes for the first 45 minutes of an entertaining friendly but Thomas Hitzlsperger blasted the ball in from the edge of the box after 53 minutes to set Germany on their way.
Miroslav Klose swooped for his 37th international goal soon afterwards and substitute Mario Gomez headed home the third 10 minutes from time.
Austria coach Josef Hickersberger will at least take heart from a good first half display, when Roland Linz had a goalbound shot cleared and Martin Harnik headed against the bar.
Michael Ballack, back for his first international since March 2007, went close when he headed over the bar in the first half and the Germany captain grew more influential as the game went on.
‘We had a pretty bumpy start but we took advantage of our chances and they didn’t,’ Ballack told German TV.
Austria and Germany will reconvene in Vienna on June 16 when they play their final match in Group B at Euro 2008.
Conventional wisdom has …Read more »