Solid Germany cruise past Turkey

German Football
By German Football October 8, 2011 05:42

Solid Germany cruise past Turkey

Germany cruised to a 3-1 win over Turkey in their Euro 2012 qualifier in Istanbul on Friday night – their ninth-straight win in an impressive group-stage performance.

The Germans had already qualified for the next edition of the Euros, to be hosted by Ukraine and Poland, while Turkey were in desperate need of points to get the edge over their nearest Group A opponents, Belgium.

Bayern Munich trio Mario Gomez, Thomas Mueller and Bastian Schweinsteiger all netted in the win over Turkey.

Having been doubtful in the build-up, Gomez proved there was nothing wrong when he hit his 13th goal of the season in his 13th game for club and country during the first-half before Mueller hit the second after being set-up by teenage wunderkind Mario Goetze.

Turkey’s Hakan Balta scored a late consolation goal for the hosts with ten minutes left before Schweinsteiger converted a late penalty to seal the win.

Germany started with both veteran striker Miroslav Klose and play-maker Mesut Ozil in the stands after the pair dropped out due to knee and Achilles tendon injuries respectively.

The game began in rapid fashion, with Turkey keeping Germany honest and on their toes in defense for the opening 10 minutes.

Enterprising young midfielder Mario Götze was doing his best to create chances for Germany, fueling the belief on the field that a goal would eventually come.

The match tempo slowed somewhat as the game approached the half-hour mark, with Germany continuing to pepper Turkey’s box.

It was only a matter a time, when, in the 35th minute, Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez opened the scoring after an excellent ball from strike partner Thomas Müller. Gomez took three touches to beat the last defender before burning a hole in the back of the net.

Nearly 20 minutes into the second half, Löw subbed Lukas Podolski for Bayer Leverkusen forward Andre Schürrle, and a goal followed four minutes later through the ever-dangerous Götze.

The 19-year-old Dortmund talent ran the ball up-field and sent a grounded ball square across the edge of the goal box, where Müller hit a sweet side-footed shot through his defender’s legs and across goal into the back of the net. 2-0 and Germany seemingly cruising.

But Turkey pulled a goal back on 79 minutes when Gokhan Gonul sent a long cross to the back post where an onrushing Hakan Balta had lost his defender and hammered a superb first-time shot past keeper Manual Neuer.

The goal gave Turkey a glimmer of hope that they might salvage something from this match. But Germany snuffed out any chance of dropping points when they were awarded a penalty in the dying minutes of the game, which was converted by veteran Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Löw was pleased with his team’s performance in a stadium full of passionate Turkish fans.

“In the first half we didn’t play so well. But to win in front of 50,000 Turks against a team playing with such motivation, that’s a good thing,” he said. “We won’t change many players for the next game on Tuesday against Belgium, which we’ll also approach seriously.”

With only one round of group-stage matches remaining, Germany stand impressively at the summit of Group A, undefeated on 27 points and looking like they’ll put forward a strong argument for being among the favorites for Euro 2012.

Turkey, meanwhile, drop to third place on 14 points after Belgium pulled out a 4-1 win over Kazakhstan to push them up to 15 points. The Belgians aren’t yet in the clear, however, and must still face Germany in Dusseldorf next Tuesday. Turkey, who host Azerbaijan in Istanbul on the same night, will be confident of getting the result they need to keep alive their hopes of Euro qualification.

German Football
By German Football October 8, 2011 05:42
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