Striker was on the scoresheet for Germany, but was also forced off...Germany extended their winning streak in the Euro 2012 qualifiers with tonight's 3-0 victory away to Kazakhstan. The hosts, which featured Germany natives Heinrich Schmidtgal (midfielder) and Bernd Storck (coach) kept the game scoreless through 45 minutes, but were ultimately undone. Second half goals from Miroslav Klose, Mario Gomez and Lukas Podolski lifted the visitors to a fourth consecutive victory in qualifying.
In the first half, Germany enjoyed the majority of possession and scoring opportunities, but lacked venom in front of goal. Thomas Mueller, Toni Kroos, and Klose all had good chances before Sami Khedira's headed effort went off the crossbar at the end of the half. Azat Nurgaliyev caused the visitors a moment of concern, but his fine run was eventually stopped.
After the break, it took just three minutes for the visitors to break through. Mesut Oezil fed a fine through ball to Lukas Podolski, who cut back to Klose for the opener. Not long thereafter, the Bayern Munich striker was forced off with what appeared to be a minor injury, after which time the visitors struggled for precision. Podolski and Mueller wasted a pair of opportunities, and Kazakhstan remained in contention.
Still at just 1-0, Schmidtgal narrowly missed a volley before forcing a tremendous save from Neuer. However, the German-born midfielder would come to rue his missed chances. Late in the game, Gomez finished well from a one-two with Oezil, and Podolski made a brilliant individual effort to beat five defenders and slot in a third goal.
There was a moment at 2-0 when Yevgeni Averchenko managed to beat Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to the ball, but the Kazakh attacker missed wide with an open goal at his mercy.
The result leaves Germany atop Group A, six points clear of Turkey and Austria, although the latter have yet to finish their game against Belgium. Having failed to match Azerbaijan's earlier victory, Kazakhstan slip to last place in the standings.
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