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Germany demolish Kazakhstan to move closer to Euro 2012

Germany have moved closer to Euro 2012 qualification with a 4-0 win over Kazakhstan, preserving a 100 percent record. Miroslav Klose and Thomas Müller both scored twice, putting the team eight points clear of the rest.

Miroslav Klose puts the ball past Kazakhstan keeper David Loria

Klose was on target to open and close the scoring

Both Miroslav Klose and Thomas Müller netted twice to give Germany their fifth win out of five qualifying matches so far in Group A in the Euro 2012 qualification.

Klose put Germany in the lead after just three minutes when poor defending allowed him to sneak in at the back post to score, tapping in a free kick by Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The home team, playing in Kaiserslautern, doubled their lead in the 25th minute when Thomas Müller took advantage of a curling free kick from Mesut Özil to head the ball into the corner of the net.

Müller extended the lead further just before half time, chesting down a cross from Özil and shooting past Kazakhstan keeper David Loria.

Thomas Müller celebrates on of his goals

Müller doubled the lead and added another before half time

With Germany enjoying the majority of possession, Kazakhstan did manage the odd counter, testing German keeper Manuel Neuer twice.

Fans show frustration

Despite the score, football fans at the Fritz-Walter Stadium showed frustration as Germany failed to capitalize further.

The Bundesliga's top scorer Mario Gomez was introduced to the pitch, but it was Klose who made the final scoreline 4-0 - tapping in a simple cross from Sami Khedira two minutes from time.

"It was not easy for us because Kazakhstan really kept themselves back," said Müller. "It wasn't always nice to watch for the fans, either. There was a lot of pushing the ball around.

"It's important that in these matches we have been able to use the momentum from our World Cup campaign," he added.

Klose's goals mean he is now seven short of Gerd Müller's record of 68 international goals for Germany.

The win puts coach Joachim Löw's side eight points clear of the competition, with Belgium and Austria on seven points and Turkey on six. Turkey, like Austria, has one game in hand.

Gerd Müller

Klose is now within seven goals of the record set by Gerd Müller, seen above in 1969

In other qualifying action on Saturday, England joined Montenegro at the top of Group G after beating Wales 2-0 away through two early goals from Frank Lampard and Darren Bent.

Last-gasp winner

Greece scored a last-minute winner against Malta to top Group F after Georgia managed a 1-0 home victory over Croatia.

In Group B, there was a goalless draw for Russia against Armenia. This allowed both Slovakia, who won 1-0 away against Andorra, and the Republic of Ireland, who beat the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 2-1 with goals from Aiden McGeady and Robbie Keane, to join the Russians at the top of the table.

Meanwhile, Norway and Denmark drew 1-1 in Group H and Bosnia and Herzegovina defeated Romania 2-1 in Group D.

Author: Richard Connor (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
Editor: Chuck Penfold

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