Klose strike sends Germany to South Africa

German Football
By German Football October 10, 2009 19:27

Klose strike sends Germany to South Africa

Miroslav Klose booked Germany their place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as his first-half goal sealed a 1-0 win for the 10-man Germans over Russia in Moscow on Saturday. Klose’s 34th-minute strike leaves Germany four points clear at the top of Group Four and means they can not now be caught by their main pool rivals Russia regardless of either side’s remaining World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.

Russia play Azerbaijan in Baku while Germany host Finland in Hamburg in their last qualification game, but Guus Hiddink’s Russian side now face two-legged play-off matches if they are to reach South Africa.

Hambury defender Jerome Boateng started his first international in the cauldron of Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, but a second yellow card midway through the second-half earned him a red card as Germany finished with ten men.

Russia made a strong start and missed the opportunity to take the lead after nine minutes when Alexander Kerzhakov got in behind the German defence, but the Dinamo Moscow forward volleyed wide. Germany’s best chance came when Mesut Özil made a strong run into the head of the defence and Lukas Podolski’s shot was blocked by defender Vasili Berezutsky on 22 minutes.

Germany goalkeeper Rene Adler was the visitors’ hero with at least four world-class saves. Adler pulled off a superb save when Russia captain Andrei Arshavin slid a perfect pass through the German defence to Zenit St Peterburg midfielder Vladimir Bystrov. Adler made a save with his legs from point-blank range and it proved to be crucial as Germany took the lead moments later when Klose netted.

Despite Russia’s pressure, Germany got the breakthrough when Podolski’s pass found Özil down the left side of the penalty area and Klose slipped his marker long enough to flick the ball past Igor Akinfeev.

After the break, Germany defender Philipp Lahm fired wide past Akinfeev, but Adler was Germany’s saviour again with two world-class saves in quick succession as his defence did him few favours. On 55 minutes Arshavin unleashed a fierce drive directly at Adler which the 24-year-old German did exceptionally well to block, before an acrobatic effort by Vladimir Bystrov landed on the roof of the net.

Adler again came to Germany’s rescue when he saved from Igor Semschov as Russia poured forward with time running out. Joachim Löw’s side safely saw out the game and leave Moscow with the three points.

Pictures from the game.

[DFB.de]

German Football
By German Football October 10, 2009 19:27
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