Germany make the next step to World Cup 2010

German Football
By German Football March 29, 2009 03:37

Germany make the next step to World Cup 2010

Germany opened a four-point lead over Group 4 rivals Russia with a convincing 4-0 win against Liechtenstein here in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier as captain Michael Ballack led the charge.

The Chelsea star was winning his 91st cap and guided his country to a comfortable victory which leaves Germany top of the group with 13 points ahead of second-placed Russia, who have nine points and face minnows Liechtenstein next Wednesday in Vaduz.

Germany were without several first-choice stars including striker Miroslav Klose – the top scorer at the 2006 World Cup – and back-injury victim defender Arne Friedrich, but the comfortable win was badly needed.

Home defeats to Norway in February and England last November had dented the team’s confidence and tiny Liechtenstein, ranked 151st in the world and rooted to the bottom of the group, were never going to test their hosts.

It was Ballack who opened the scoring after just four minutes. Bayern München’s midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger floated in a cross and Ballack drilled his shot past Liechtenstein goalkeeper Peter Jehle.

The Germans made it 2-0 five minutes later when Lukas Podolski’s shot was saved by Jehle, but midfielder Marcell Jansen won the race to the ball and fired home.

It remained 2-0 at half-time, but Germany stepped up the pace after the break as both Podolski and Schweinsteiger struck in less than two minutes. Podolski drilled his shot at Jehle who parried and when the ball bobbled loose, Schweinsteiger had the simplest of tap-ins on 48 minutes.

With Klose out with an ankle injury, Stuttgart’s Mario Gomez partnered Podolski up front and when Gomez’s shot was saved, Podolski fired home from nine metres out to make it 4-0 after 50 minutes.

German Football
By German Football March 29, 2009 03:37
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