Germany defeats Turkey 3:0
Germany is the lone leader in Group A of qualification for the EURO 2012 in Poland and the Ukraine after defeating Turkey at the Olympiastadion Berlin by a score of 3:0. Miroslav Klose and Mesut Özil scored for Germany, lifting the team to its third win in as many games in front of 74.244 spectators.
Bayern forward Klose scored first for Germany in the 42nd minute and again in the 87th minute, scoring his 56th and 57th goal for the National team. In between the two Klose goals, Özil scored in a hard fought match (79.). The son of Turkish parents was the prodigal son in this match and out of respect for the country of his forefathers, the midfielder from Real Madrid went without a big celebration after scoring for Germany.
After having won the first two matches, the Turkish side had their enthusiasm dampened by their first loss. Even the vociferous support of their large fan base at the sold-out Olympiastadion Berlin did not compensate. For Coach Guus Hiddink it was the fifth loss against Germany in as many matches, coming with three different national teams.
Taking the lead in the 42nd minute was a sole production by the Bayern Munich stars of the German national team. After having been in a crisis with the club, this goal was balm for their psyches. Thomas Müller’s header off a cross by Lahm was deflected to the crossbar by Turkish goalie Volkan Demirel, went off the post and Klose stood in the right spot at the right time to head in the lead. The second best scorer in the history of the national team also took over Franz Beckenbauer in the all-time list for games played with 104. He is now in fourth place all-time.
For the DFB-Team, Toni Kroos replaced the injured World Cup star Bastian Schweinsteiger in midfield and Heiko Westermann played for Jerome Boateng on the left defensive side. Turkey also had three Bundesliga players in their line-up, who all were born and raised in Germany: Hamit Altintop (Bayern Munich), his twin brother Halil (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Nuri Sahin (Borussia Dortmund).
The “Milliler”, who were supported well by their fans and the prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who sat next to German chancellor Angela Merkel, went without a real scoring chance in a first half that was dominated by tactics.
The team that placed third at the last World Cup however, had many chances in this rematch of the EURO 2008 semi-final (3:2 for Germany): Miroslav Klose just missed the ball (9.) while Sami Khedira (11.) and Mesut Özil (16.) both found their master in Volkan. Özil was also heckled and booed the entire match by the Turkish supporters. Turkey also had to absorb the loss of Brasilian-born Mehmet Aurelio who had to be replaced midway through the first half after suffering a foot injury.
After the break, the DFB team seemed to be in control, but after a mistake by Lukas Podolski, it was goalkeeper Manuel Neuer who brilliantly saved Germany from getting the equalizer, when he stopped Ex-Schalke star Halil Altintop.
Germany played well defensively and went up by two goals after Özil scored off a beautiful pass by Lahm, leaving Volkan no chance. Klose then capitalized on a big mistake by the keeper to make it 3:0.
On Tuesday, the German national team will face Kazakhstan in Astana where Coach Joachim Löw will try to improve upon his record that now includes 42 wins in 60 matches.