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Below-par Germany see off Kazakhstan
Published : 22 Mar 2013 20:17:22
Germany were hardly impressive but also not challenged in a comfortable 3-0 victory at Kazakhstan in their World Cup Group C qualifier on Friday.
Bastian Schweinsteiger opened the scoring after 20 minutes and Mario Goetze doubled the lead in the 22nd before Thomas Mueller finished off the Kazakhs with his score to make it 3-0 in the 74th minute.
The win gives Germany 13 points from five matches in the qualifying group while Kazakhstan have one point.
German national team coach Joachim Loew gave Schalke's 19-year-old Julian Draxler his first start while Goetze lined up as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 system with Mario Gomez out due to a strained thigh muscle.
Goetze was close to giving Germany the lead after 18 minutes but the Borussia Dortmund star shot over the bar from eight yards out.
Draxler's starting debut was cut short after just 19 minutes after a clash of heads with Kazakh defender Mark Gurman.
Schweinsteiger put the Germans ahead just a minute later when he collected Mesut Oezil's pass and had his shot deflected off Mueller's chest into the goal.
Germany doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute with Kazakhstan keeper Andrey Sidelnikov trying to clear a ball in the box that went to Goetze, who calmly struck into the empty net.
After Germany dominated possession in the first half, Kazakhstan were able to mount a series of counter-attacks and won a number of corner in the first 10 minutes after the break, albeit without any serious test for German keeper Manuel Neuer.
Germany could not produce much offense-wise against the hosts in the second half and Kazakhstan offered a wake-up call in the 69th minute as substitute Ulan Konysbayev hammered a drive off the crossbar.
Neuer was called upon to make a great save three minutes later, fending away a shot by Genrikh Shmidtgal at the near left post.
Germany answered in the 74th minute with Mueller slotting home Oezil's pass into the box to make it 3-0.