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June 7, 2011
• Tofiq Bəhramov adına Respublika stadionu, Bakı (Baku)
Referee: M. Koukoulakis
• Attendance: 29858
M. Hüseynov 89'
M. Özil 30'
M. Gómez 41'
A. Schürrle 90'+
That's all from here - I hope you enjoyed tonight's coverage. Until next time, all the best.
FULL TIME! Azerbaijan played well and deserved their goal, but Germany recovered from a slow start and their class made the difference. The hosts can be proud to have scored a goal that will concern the DFB team. Heading into the last three qualifiers, Germany need just one point, or for Turkey to drop one point, in order to qualify for Euro 2012.
90' + 3'
TOOOR! SCHURRLE MAKES IT 3-1! Badstuber plays another brilliant through ball from the back, this time finding Gotze. The 18-year old races into the box before flicking the ball to Gomez, whose effort from the centre of the box is saved by Arhayev. Schurrle is first to the loose ball and makes no mistake as he fires a low drive inside the left post.
90' + 2'
Goal Andre Schürrle
Three minutes to be added...will there be late drama?
Goal Murad Hüseynov
GOOOOOOOAL AZERBAIJAN PULL ONE BACK! Calamitous defending from the hosts. Neuer tips a cross wide, and after the ball is delivered back in, the ball is again half-cleared. Badstuber misses a header, and the ball falls to Isayev, who has plenty of time and space. He fails to properly connect as the ball rolls to Huseynov, who makes no mistake from close range. 2-1 it is now!
Schurrle plays an inviting ball, but Gomez mis-calculates his angles and fires wide of the far post.
Azerbaijan make a final substitution as Rashad A. Sadygov (not to be confused with Rashad F. Sadygov) comes off the bench to replace Chertoganov.
HUSEYNOV! Excellent skill from the forward, who receives the ball with back to goal but manages to hold off Badstuber before turning and shooting. His final effort misses over the bar, however.
Oh, near chance for the hosts! Huseynov would have had a great opportunity, but Hummels does well to win back the ball. The Dortmund man misplaced a few passes early on, but has since improved and has made a couple timely interventions over the last few minutes.
Next substitution for Germany: Mario Gotze comes in for Ozil, who really made the difference tonight.
Brave goalkeeping by Arhayev, who reaches out to collect Lahm's low cross just ahead of Gomez's feet.
Germany finally make a substitution as Andre Schurrle comes in for Podolski, who has not had a good game.
OZIL, WHAT A MISS! He did all the hard work, cutting in from the right and playing a 1-2 with Gomez, who delivered the return ball very well... but with his first touch, Ozil managed to put the ball narrowly wide from close range.
Second substitution for the hosts: Murad Huseynov replaces Javadov.
Ooh, that was almost an own goal! Gomez makes a clever move before crossing from the by-line, and the ball is knocked goalward. Arhayev does well to tip the ball away for a corner.
GOMEZ! FANTASTIC SAVE BY ARHAYEV! Lahm slips a well-weighted through ball in for his club team-mate, who turns to shoot but faces a wall in Arhayev, who had come out to contest his effort. The goalkeeper makes a very good block to concede a corner.
Replays show that Badstuber actually played Nadirov onside. Very unlucky for Azerbaijan...
Yellow Card Vugar Nadirov
NADIROV IS IN AND...OFFSIDE! What an unlucky break; the forward was payed past Howedes, and had just Neuer to beat, but only put the ball into the net after the flag was raised. He gets booked for continuing to play after the whistle.
Germany pass the ball around the edge of their penalty area, before Gomez runs into Sadigov and loses possession. The Bundesliga's reigning top scorer wants a free kick, but none is forthcoming.
Brilliant run by Lahm who was unmarked and found with a glorious ball over the top. The Bayern man was in a good position to score, but could not quite control before being dispossessed.
Isayev is put under early pressure as Podolski out-runs him to a through ball, but the Koln man's first touch is poor and the chance goes begging.
First change of the game is made by the hosts: Isayev comes on for Ismayilov.
Things have slowed down over the last couple minutes; the hosts are no longer playing with the vigour they once had, while the visitors appear comfortable with their lead.
A rather weak pass from Neuer nearly gets the goalkeeper into trouble, but Badstuber plays the ball back into his path and he manages to clear before really coming into any danger.
Podolski breaks into the box and fires a low cross, but Arhayev makes an excellent diving catch-save.
Muller plays the ball in to Gomez who is well covered but manages to cut the ball back from the byline. However, play stops as the ball is adjudged to have gone out of play. Goal kick for the hosts.
Nervy moments for the hosts as Lahm is twice denied by last-ditch challenges to block his shots. Muller then has a go from distance, but it sails over the bar.
AND WE'RE UNDERWAY! Azerbaijan kick off but quickly lose possession in their attacking half.
The players are back on the pitch again and the second half is about to begin...
That's all for now - I'll be back in 15 minutes to keep you up to date with all the latest developments.
HALF TIME! The hosts started off very well and looked like scoring, but eventually Germany found their feet. A world class goal gave the visitors the lead, and Gomez may have put the game out of reach with his strike. Berti Vogts will be disappointed his team have nothing better to show for their efforts.
CHERTOGANOV! What a chance! The midfielder is played into the left side of the box and is quickly closed down by Hummels, but has enough time to shoot on goal. He shoots a blistering shot, but misses wide of the near post.
Ozil, the man of the match thus far, takes a knock after a challenge and appears hurt. After a few nervous moments, he takes to his feet.
Goal M. Gómez
TOR GOMEZ! 2-0 TO GERMANY! Badstuber plays a brilliant through ball out of the back and Ozil is first to it. The Real Madrid man crosses low to Gomez, who fires in from the edge of the six-yard box.
Ismaylov finds an opening in his own half and plays a fine through ball forward, but Neuer is quick off his line and intercepts.
The goal has changed things very much. Germany had been paying more confidently before, but Ozil's strike has fully restored their confidence. They are still having trouble in the final third, but Germany are no longer misplacing passes as they did over the first 20 minutes.
It would be harsh to call Germany's goal undeserved, but Azerbaijan would be worthy of a clean sheet up to this point. The hosts have played very positive football and were only beaten by a real gem of a goal.
Muller makes a trademark run from deep and tries to chip the ball in for Gomez, who was not quite on the same page. Arhayev collects.
Goal Mesut Özil
TOR! OZIL SCORES THE OPENER! Howedes cuts back a cross from the byline that evades Gomez. Unmarked, Ozil charges onto the ball from deep, takes a touch and shoots a low blast in off the far post. Stunning goal, given that Ozil had a very tight angle from which to shoot.
Kroos fires another blistering shot from distance, and its late swerve forces Arhayev to punch the ball out for a corner.
Kroos plays a fine long ball towards Ozil, but the Real Madrid man cannot quite catch up to it. Goal kick to the hosts.
Nadirov has another go from long distance, but this time his delivery sails well over the bar.
The hosts avoid danger thanks to yet another superb tackle. Muller was preparing a shot, but the ball was cleanly won back thanks to a very well-timed challenge.
Yellow Card Benedikt Höwedes
Howedes is the first player to be booked after a tug on Nadirov's shirt. The Schalke man protests claiming unequal treatment, but in normal circumstances, his foul was definitely worth of a caution.
Lahm makes an excellent run into the box, but the ball is clearly taken off his foot. It was a timely, and necessary, intervention - otherwise he was through on goal.
Muller makes a brilliant turn near the edge of the box and the skipper, Sadigov, is forced to commit a professional foul. Podolski fires in a blistering free kick, but it is low and easily blocked by the wall.
KROOS HITS THE POST! Gorgeous free kick from the Bayern man, whose delivery easily beats Arhayev. The ball rebounds off the woodwork before the hosts can clear.
Kroos surges forward and Chertaganov is forced to concede a free kick, left of centre, and about 10 yards outside the box...
Hummels, who has misplaced more than one pass already, is released up the right flank by Muller, but eventually concedes a free kick to Allahverdiyev.
The story of the game thus far is that Azerbaijan's pressing game has forced Germany to make careless pass after careless pass. The hosts have looked threatening from distance. One wonders how long they will be able to expend this much energy, of course.
NADIROV!!! What a strike from distance! The forward intercepts a rather loose pass from Hummels, then fires a volley from well outside the penalty area. Neuer does just enough to get a finger to the ball and tip it onto the bar and out for a corner.
Near howler from Arhayev as he beats Gomez to Podolski's through ball, but fumbles. The goalkeeper quickly recovers and holds onto the ball before Gomez can take it away.
FIRST CHANCE FOR Chertoganov! After Ismayilov wins a free kick from Aogo on the right, Chertoganov unleashes a strong effort from distance that had Neuer at full stretch, but went wide of the right post.
Neuer becomes the first goalkeeper to get a touch as he collects a cross. Javadov was in the area, but came back from an offside position and made no attempt for the ball.
Azerbaijan struggling to get the ball out of their own half in the early exchanges, but the Germans have yet to pose any threat near the penalty area.
AND THE MATCH BEGINS! Gomez touches the ball to Ozil as the clock starts to tick.
Anthems played, captains Sadigov and Lahm meet in the centre circle. Following the coin toss, Germany will kick off...
The players are on the pitch now and the national anthems are playing...
Subs: Yunisoglu, Isayev, Veliyev, Medvedev, Huseynov, Levin, R.A. Sadygov,
And here is the Azerbaijan starting XI, which will take a 4-1-4-1 shape: Agayev; Melikov, R.F. Sadygov, Huseynov, Allahverdiev; Abishov; Ismayilov, Chertoganov, Amirquliev, Nadirov; Javadov
The big news in the German squad is that skipper Philipp Lahm has moved from right-back to defensive midfield. In his normal spot, Benedikt Howedes will deputise as he starts his first match. In the centre and left of defence, respectively, Dennis Aogo and Holger Badstuber have replaced Arne Friedrich and Marcel Schmelzer.
Subs: Adler, Holtby, Schmelzer, Friedrich, Rudy, Gotze, Schurrle
Starting Iine-ups are in - for Germany, in a 4-2-3-1 formation: Neuer; Howedes, Hummels, Badstuber, Aogo; Lahm, Kroos; Muller, Ozil, Podolski; Gomez
Jogi Low has a depleted squad, however, with eight members having withdrawn in recent weeks due to injuries, in addition to a number of other regulars who were unfit before he named his team.
Germany's form is quite the opposite: the Mannschaft beat Uruguay and Austria in their last two matches, and have a perfect record in qualifying thus far, with 18 points from six matches.
Azerbaijan enter tonight's match in less than stellar form, having lost to Kazakhstan in their most recent match. The two are tied at the bottom of Euro 2012 qualifying Group A with three points, although Azerbaijan have a game in hand.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of Azerbaijan vs Germany! I'm Clark Whitney, and I'll be keeping you company for the next two hours or so...
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