Germany, already qualified for
Euro 2012, beat Turkey 3-1 on Friday to maintain their perfect
record with nine wins from nine games and dent their opponents'
chances of qualifying.
Mario Gomez fired in from inside the box after a fine solo
effort after 35 minutes with Thomas Muller doubling their lead
midway through the second half before Hakan Balta's goal 11
minutes from time gave the hosts some brief hope.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, however, sent keeper Volkan Demirel
the wrong way as he converted an 86th minute penalty and secured
the win for his team.
"Compliments to the players," Germany coach Joachim Loew
told reporters. "We held our own in this stadium and this
atmosphere. To beat a team that is highly motivated in front of
50,000 of their own fans is quite an achievement."
"Our aim is to win 10 games out of 10. The aim is to win,
not to give Turkey a present," he said.
Already qualified for next year's tournament, Germany are
eager to become the first team from their country to win 10 out
of 10 qualifiers for a major tournament. They top Group A on 27
points with their last game next week against Belgium, who moved
up to second on 15 with a 4-1 win against Kazakhstan.
Turkey dropped to third on 14 and are hoping Germany will
set their record against Belgium to give them a chance of a
second-place play-off spot when they host Azerbaijan.
In a fiery atmosphere with 50,000 fans jeering and whistling
during the German national anthem, Turkey, desperate to secure
second spot, came close after five minutes.
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer pulled off a great save,
instinctively palming a Hamit Altintop close-range effort over
Turkey pushed on and Selcuk Inan almost completed a quick
move down the right in the 29th minute but his shot from 10
metres sailed over the bar.
A weak header at the far post by Holger Badstuber was all
Germany could manage until the 35th minute when Neuer threw the
ball over 40 metres to Muller.
The Bayern midfielder sent a deep cross to Gomez, who
controlled it with one touch, shook off his marker and rifled in
a powerful left-footer from just inside the box.
Muller made amends in the 65th minute for an earlier miss
connecting with a Mario Gotze pass to thunder in from the right
for Germany's second goal
Guus Hiddink's Turkey came back and cut the deficit in the
79th with Balta firing a Gokhan Gonul pass but Schweinsteiger
dashed any hopes, converting the penalty awarded after Muller
was brought down in the box.
Dutchman Hiddink said he was confident Turkey would still
clinch second spot.
"Yes of course. Because we have to win on Tuesday and
Germany will have to beat Belgium. We believe we will reach the
play-offs because there cannot be any surprises at these games,"
he told reporters.
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