Germany beats Kazakhstan 3-0 in Euro qualifying
Lukas Podolski scored one goal and made the other two for Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez as Germany beat Kazakhstan 3-0 on Tuesday, its fourth straight victory in European Championship qualifying.
Klose took a pass from Podolski and scored with a left-footed shot in the 48th minute after a frustrating and goalless first half for Germany on the artificial surface at the Astana Arena. It was his 58th goal for Germany in 105 games - leaving him 10 short of Gerd Mueller's all-time record.
Coach Joachim Loew started with the same team that dispatched Turkey 3-0 in Berlin on Friday, but Germany failed to take advantage of several chances against German coach Bernd Storck's energetic Kazakhstan side in the opening 45 minutes.
Klose and Mesut Oezil both had opportunities, while Sami Khedira put two headers over the bar shortly before halftime.
Gomez came on as a substitute for Klose and put Germany in control in the 76th minute. Again set up by Podolski, he beat Kazakhstan keeper Andrei Sidelnikov with a shot into the corner from 13 yards (meters).
Podolski scored five minutes from time, putting a powerful left-footed shot past Sidelnikov following a solo run through Kazakhstan's defense.
The win leaves Germany in control of Group A with 12 points, while Kazakhstan is bottom with no goals and no points.
''We picked up the three points here and have a magnificent record at the moment with 12 points,'' Loew said. ''That satisfies me - that there are mistakes in our game as well is clear.''
''What the team has done this year is sensational,'' he added. ''I can't always expect a gala, but we won the game and did the job.''
Germany's situation in the qualifying table ''is comfortable, but in the end we still have to win a few games,'' Loew said.
In an effort to avoid jetlag, Germany delayed its departure for Astana until Monday and the team didn't switch to Kazakh time.
''It was important that we picked up three points today, never mind how,'' captain Philipp Lahm said.
Kazakhstan also had its chances, with Kazbek Geteriyev shooting wide in the 30th minute.
Heinrich Schmidtgal, who has dual Kazakh and German citizenship and plays in Germany for second-division Rot-Weiss Oberhausen, forced a save from Germany keeper Manuel Neuer in the 57th.
''In the end, Germany's individual class won out,'' Schmidtgal said.
But he added: ''I think we can be satisfied today. We were able to get in some counterattacks ... we didn't just stand there and wait for them to score against us.''
Kazakhstan: Andrei Sidelnikov; Alexander Kirov, Alexei Popov, Renat Abdulin, Farkhadbek Irismetov (Mikhail Rozhkov, 67), Kazbek Geteriyev, Maksim Azovskiy, Heinrich Schmidtgal, Azat Nurgaliyev (Yevgeny Averchenko, 63), Nurbol Zhumaskaliyev, Sergei Khizhnichenko (Andrei Finonchenko, 79).
Germany: Manuel Neuer; Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker, Holger Badstuber, Heiko Westermann, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Thomas Mueller (Marko Marin, 70), Mesut Oezil (Cacau, 79), Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose (Mario Gomez, 55).