Munich, Sep 7 — Coached by Joachim Loew, Germany defeated rivals Austria 3-0 to make a big stride towards qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The Germans tightened their top position in Group C overcoming Austria in a one-sided affair at the 100th cap of Phillip Lahm. The visitors seized the initiative at the opening period in front of an outsold Allianz Arena as the ‘Nationalelf’ needed some time to gain a foothold in the match, reports Xinhua.
Sami Khedira ensured the first highlight of the match when his curled shot nearly broke the deadlock with 10 minutes on the clock. Minutes later, teammate Miroslav Klose failed to utilise a misplaced pass by Austria’s Christian Fuchs from close range.
Germany’s veteran striker Klose was again in the thick of the action when his header onto the open goal was scratched from the goalline by Austria goalkeeper Robert Almer with a last grasp save (28th minute).
However, the hosts were able to turn their chances into a tangible reward as Klose scored his 68th goal for Germany to tie with Gerd Mueller in the all-time scoring charts. The 35-year-old striker poked home at the near post following a low cross by Thomas Mueller from the right wing (33rd).
Austria were unable to threaten Germany’s defence. The hosts doubled the lead in the 51st minute through Toni Kroos, who hammered home an assist by Marco Reus from 20 metres.
The Germans tripled the lead in the dying minutes of the game when Mueller slotted home into the open goal following the build-up play by Benedikt Hoewedes.
“We did our homework and gave Austria a hard time with our well positioned defence,” Loew said.
Germany sit atop the standings in Group C with 19 points followed by Sweden with 15, Austria with 11, Ireland on 11, Kazakhstan on four and Faroe Islands, who are yet to get off the mark.