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Germany crushes Turkey in Euro 2012 qualifier

Germany's national soccer team beat Turkey 3-0 in Friday night's European Championship qualification match. The win in Berlin lifted Germany three points clear at the top of Group A.

Germany player celebrate in front of Germany flag

Germany were firing on all cyclinders against Turkey

Miroslav Klose scored Germany's first goal in the 42nd minute. Eleven minutes before the final whistle, midfielder Mesut Oezil, got Germany's second. Klose then added another goal later in the second half to seal an emphatic victory in front of more than 74,000 fans at Berlin's Olympic Stadium.

Germany next face Kazakhstan on Tuesday for their next EURO 2012 clash.

"The team showed they really wanted this and we have earned a deserved victory," said Germany national coach Joachim Loew.

"I hadn't expected to win by such a big amount, because it was always going to be a difficult game. For the Turks, the game was always going to be a matter of honor," said Loew.

Oezil is congratulated by Thomas Mueller, right, after scoring during the Euro 2012 qualifier

Oezil is congratulated by Thomas Mueller, right, after scoring during the Euro 2012 qualifier

Kazakhstan beckons 

With a maximum nine out of nine points, Germany are now in firm control of Group A, ahead of next Tuesday's encounter when Loew's side face Kazakhstan.

For Turkey's new national coach, Dutchman Guus Hiddink, his team are now placed second on six. Friday's 3-0 drubbing in Berlin was Turkey's first defeat of the qualifying campaign. Hiddink used to coach Russia's national side, which, like Turkey, failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

Strongest opponent           

"It is impressive how well the team is playing at the moment," said captain Philipp Lahm, adding that the team had defeated their strongest opponent in the group.

"It has been the perfect start, but now we need to build on it for our next game on Tuesday (against Kazakhstan)," Lahm said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish PM Erdogan watched the game with Merkel in Berlin

Born and bred              

The German-born Oezil, who signed with Real Madrid from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen at the start of this season, was booed by Turkish fans who made up more than half of the 74,000 soccer fans in Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Oezil, however, silenced his tormentors with a 79th-minute goal to seal the win.

Veteran striker Miroslav Klose opening the scoring just before half-time and the Bayern Munich star slotted his second on 87 minutes.

The 32-year-old's second just before the final whistle was his 57th goal in his 104th international, passing Franz Beckenbauer's mark of 103, to put him clear second behind Gerd

Mueller's all-time record is 68 goals for Germany.                    

"Although I have now over-taken Franz Beckenbauer in terms of the number of international matches, there will always be something special about the Beckenbauer name," Klose said.

"We are all happy that we managed to win the game. I have to compliment our fans, one heard them even though there were so many Turkish fans. After our first two goals they took over with their singing," Klose said.

Oezil, left, and Turkey's Mehmet Aurelio challenge for the ball

Oezil and Turkey's Mehmet Aurelio challenge for the ball

Turkey should have equalized in the 53rd minute when a defensive error from Lukas Podolski saw Halil Altintop have a free run at Manuel Neuer, but the Schalke goalkeeper managed a world-class save with his left leg, pushing the ball away for a corner.

World Cup form

Germany's captain Lahm said he was proud of his team.

"Nine points is a perfect start. We can't do more. But all of that does not matter if we do not manage another win on Tuesday," Lahm said.

Mueller, meanwhile, compared the performance with that at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where Germany finished third.

"It was a good performance from the team," Mueller said.  "We managed to take the euphoria from the World Cup with us and now we have a small lead from the other teams."

Author: Nigel Tandy (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

Editor: Sarah Harman

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