Germany beats 10-man Australia 4-0 at World Cup

Germany scored two goals in each half and Tim Cahill was sent

off as the three-time champion beat Australia 4-0 Sunday in Group D

of the World Cup.

Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose scored in the first 30 minutes

as Australia coach Pim Verbeek’s defensive tactics backfired, and

Thomas Mueller and Cacau added the others against an overwhelmed

Australian defense.

“We earned respect for ourselves,” Klose said. “It was hugely

important to win the first game, but nothing is won yet. We’re a

young team and we have fun playing.”

Cahill was red-carded in the 56th minute for a late challenge on

Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The dominant win, played in front of 62,660 fans at the Moses

Mabhida Stadium, came without injured captain Michael Ballack.

“I think the way we set up our attacks is something we’ve been

working on intensively,” Germany coach Joachim Loew said. “But

we’ve also worked on how we play off the ball – to move into unused

space. We were very good on the ball tonight, and we created

beautiful goals.”

Podolski shot into the roof of the net in the eighth minute when

Mesut Oezil passed to Mueller on the right and the young Bayern

Munich midfielder cut the ball back. Australia goalkeeper Mark

Schwarzer could only deflect the ball on its way in.

Klose doubled the lead when he got in front of Lucas Neill to

head a cross from Philipp Lahm powerfully past Schwarzer.

The strike drew him level with Juergen Klinsmann as Germany’s

second most prolific World Cup marksman. Gerd Mueller tops the list

with 14 goals.

“It was not an easy game for us,” Verbeek said. “We tried to

make it very difficult for them and use our speed, but we didn’t

have the ball in the first 20 minutes.”

Any slim hope Australia had of coming back evaporated with

Cahill’s sending off. Klose missed two more good chances before

Thomas Mueller made it 3-0 in the 68th, dragging the ball back to

avoid a lunge from Scott Chipperfield and sending a low shot in off

the post.

Cacau rounded off the scoring in the 70th, tapping in from close

range just two minutes after coming on as a substitute for

Klose.

Hoping to hold out for a draw, Verbeek used Cahill as a forward

and packed his midfield, leaving experienced striker Harry Kewell

on the bench. But with Cahill isolated up front instead of

controlling the midfield, Australia had no answer to Germany’s

swift passing and running game.

Verbeek said he had planned to bring on Kewell in the second

half, but decided against it after Cahill’s red card.

“From the moment we had 10 players, we had to make different

decisions,” he said. “So I’ll try to save him for maybe the next

game.”

Australia now has a mountain to climb if it is to progress to

the next round, especially as it will be without Cahill in its next

match, against Ghana on June 19.

“We’ll miss Tim, but hopefully we can pull back and we’ll score

goals,” Brett Emerton said.

The Everton midfielder was in tears after the match as

Schweinsteiger patted him on the back and said he did not believe

he should have been sent off.

Australia only briefly threatened at the start of each half.

Cahill had a header blocked in the fourth minute and Richard

Garcia’s follow-up shot also was stopped on the German line.

Immediately after the break, Garcia had a good appeal for a

penalty turned down by referee Marco Rodriguez when his header hit

Per Mertesacker’s arm.

But apart from those fleeting chances, Germany was in total

control.

“The Australians defended with 10 players,” Loew said. “So

you just can’t take those teams head on. You have to hit them on

the wings and we did this very effectively.”

Germany has not lost an opening match in the World Cup since a

2-1 defeat in 1982 against Algeria and the team never looked like

losing on a warm evening in Durban.

“We want to reach the round of 16 at least,” Loew said. “So

we can now preceed with confidence after this game.”

Earlier Sunday, Asamoah Gyan scored an 85th-minute penalty to

give Ghana a 1-0 win over Serbia in the opening Group D match.

Germany: Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Arne Friedrich, Per

Mertesacker, Holger Badstuber, Sami Khedira, Bastian

Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil (Mario Gomez, 74), Lukas

Podolski (Marko Marin, 81), Miroslav Klose (Cacau, 68).

Australia: Mark Schwarzer, Luke Wilkshire, Craig Moore, Lucas

Neill, Scott Chipperfield, Carl Valeri, Vincenzo Grella (Brett

Holman, 46), Brett Emerton (Mile Jedinak, 74), Jason Culina,

Richard Garcia (Nikita Rukavytsya, 64), Tim Cahill.