Die Mannschaft stretch lead at top of Group A to seven points with easy win over East Europeans at Fritz-Walter Stadion thanks to braces from Thomas Mueller and Miroslav Klose
Germany defeated Kazakhstan 4-0 in Kaiserslautern in their Euro 2012 qualifier to increase their lead at the top of Group A to four points and maintain their 100% record in impressive fashion.
The rout began when Miroslav Klose tapped in from close range after good work from Bastian Schweinsteiger in little under three minutes. The Germans went further ahead when Thomas Mueller headed in Mesut Oezil’s swinging cross. The Bayern attacker got his second, and Germany’s third when he beat the offside trap to lash home before the break. Klose completed the rout, in the 89th minute from a tap-in.
Before tonight’s game, coach Joachim Loew insisted that a win wouldn’t be enough against Kazakhstan, but a good performance to complement the three points would be imperative. That statement proved accurate in under 160 seconds at the Fritz Walter Stadion, when Schweinsteiger’s delivery to the back post was perfect enough for Bayern team-mate Miroslav Klose to tap-in his 60th international goal to edge the Germans in front.
Die Mannschaft could’ve and perhaps should’ve had a second just after 14 minutes when good play from Thomas Mueller and Philipp Lahm saw the latter first leave two Kazakh defenders reeling, before Mueller pulled play back to the captain who then narrowly chipped over, a testament to the dynamic attacking football Germany had quickly settled into. The ambush on the visiting goal continued when Lukas Podolski’s drive was expertly kept out by David Loria after Mueller had burst through to lay off the Koeln striker.
Sergey Khiznichenko failed to chase a through ball from midfield in what was Kazakhstan’s first real attacking foray, with Per Mertesacker snuffing out the opportunity. The Germans then notched up their second moments later when Oezil’s inswinging cross was headed in clinically by Mueller to further optimism within the Kaiserslautern crowd.
Loria’s busy evening continued in the first half, as the Kazakh keeper superbly foiled a double attempt by Klose to increase the lead. Firstly, Renat Abdulin’s failure to nullify the attacking threat posed by Germany ensured the ball was played to Klose whose point-blank shot was kept out by Loria, and the subsequent follow-up was denied by the goalkeeper’s legs as Miroslav Beranek’s side struggled to contain the home team.
Kazakhstan’s misery was compounded by the brilliant young attack-minded Germans who had virtually kept the ball in the opposite area for the entire half as they fired in a third to ease all doubts, before half-time. Poor defending from the Kazakhs played Mueller onside, and the World Cup golden boot winner latched on to Oezil’s pin-point cross to lash home his second of the night as Die Mannschaft recorded a clear advantage at the break.
The domination continued into the second half as Klose swiftly broke into the area, but alert defending had stopped the veteran striker adding to his tally. Sami Khedira also missed his chance as Mueller pinned the ball back to the Real Madrid midfielder, but he couldn’t keep up with the pass.
Manuel Neuer was rarely threatened throughout the game, and this showed when Khizhnichenko fired in a tame effort, but with Mertesacker closing down the 19-year-old, he was forced into shooting early.
Substitute Mario Gomez, on for Podolski, almost made an immediate impact when he fired agonizingly wide from an excellent cross by Lahm. Mertesacker was vulnerable at times, but Kazakhstan failed to punish his mistakes when he was easily beaten for pace by Khizhnicheno.
Kazakhstan’s best chance came and went in the 71st minute as substitute Zhambyl Kukeyev took advantage of Mertesacker’s weakness but the powerful shot could only hit the upright and go out for a goal-kick. The Werder Bremen defender was further tormented by Kukeyev’s pace, but this time the referee waved away penalty claims, after the Kazakh went down inside the area.
Klose should’ve tucked the ball away for a fourth, but he couldn't fine space to shoot after sub Mario Goetze had squared the ball to him. A mazy run from skipper Lahm in which he brilliantly beat two defenders, ended in the right-back losing his balance as the ball found its way to Loria.
The fourth goal eventually came, a minute from time when Klose was fed the ball by Toni Kroos, and Khedira pulled back unselfishly for Klose to score his 61st international goal - just seven away now from Gerd Mueller's record - in a comfortable night for Joachim Loew's team.Germany have won all five of their Group A qualifying games so far, scoring 17 goals and conceding just one. Kazakhstan remain bottom of the group having lost all five without scoring any.
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