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Germany Reaffirm Pacesetting Status As Wales Downed By Two

Wales 0-2 Germany

Germany further sunk Wales' hopes of qualification to the World Cup in South Africa next summer with a healthy two goal scoreline, despite a late strong performance from John Toshack's side.

The evening fixture in Cardiff got off to a bright start as a sublime strike from Michael Ballack broke the deadlock after just 11 minutes. The Chelsea driving midfielder struck from over 25-yards out, and left Wayne Hennessey plucking the ball out of his own net.

Wales, though, reacted positively, and Gareth Bale in particular - one of a number of young players in Toshack's starting XI - urged his side forward and tried to feed in Robert Earnshaw, only for the forward to squander the opportunity.

The early drama calmed down for ten minutes, but Wales will feel aggrieved that a penalty did not go their way after Tasci was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. The referee, though, waved nothing doing.

Just two minutes after the break and Germany had doubled their lead as Ashley Williams poked the ball into his own goal after Gomez sent in a dangerous cross.

Once the group leaders found the second goal, they became far more comfortable on the ball, and began to dominate various areas of the pitch - especially the flanks.

Hennessey, despite conceding twice, spurred various chances from the Germans to extend their lead, including a block from Podolski in the first half, and then again when Schweinsteiger tried to test the glovesman from set-play, but failed to trouble the Welshman.

The game finished in favour of the Germans though, who look - predictably - like the team to beat in Group Four.

LINE UPS


Wales

Hennessey; Ricketts; A Williams; Collins; Nyatanga; Davies; Ramsey; Ledley; Bale; Earnshaw; Vokes.

Germany

Enke; Beck; Mertesacker; Rolfes; Lahm; Schweinsteiger; Tasci; Ballack; Hitzlsperger; Podoslki; Gomez.

Goals

Ballack (11); A Williams OG (48).