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Sports

Klose Scores Hat-trick as Germany Rescue Point in Finland

Miroslav Klose scored a hat-trick as Germany came from behind three times to draw 3-3 against Finland Wednesday in a Group 4 qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup.

German striker Miroslav Klose

Klose was the undisputed star of the game

Germany were staring defeat in the face after substitute Daniel Sjolund headed a third goal for Finland eight minutes after the break.

But Klose scored from close range seven minutes from time in a goalmouth scramble to rescue a point for Joachim Loew's side, who next face Russia - 2-1 winners over Wales - on October 11 in Dortmund.

German coach Joachim Loew

Loew would have preferred to pick up three points but he was satisfied with one in the end

"Both teams could have won -- it was a great football match," Loew said. "We showed good morale in that we always tried to come back and never lost our rhythm. It was difficult because the Finns played with power and energy going forward. We made one or two tactical mistakes. And we didn't always get the coordination right," the German coach said.

Loew added he was "absolutely satisfied."

Klose back in peak form

Loew picked an unchanged line-up for the third successive match, and was vindicated in retaining the misfiring Klose, who was again captain in the absence of injured Michael Ballack.

The Bayern Munich striker shrugged off lackluster recent form to move onto 44 goals for the national side, overtaking Uwe Seeler to go sixth in Germany's all-time scoring list.

Finland began strongly but Simon Rolfes screwed a shot just wide and Klose could only glance a header across goal in a good position as Germany created the better early chances.

However central defender Heiko Westermann and left-back Philipp Lahm failed to deal with a lobbed ball forward from Roman Eremenko, allowing Jonatan Johansson to run on and put Finland ahead in the 33rd minute.

Germany leveled five minutes later when Finland central defender Sami Hyppia allowed Klose to chest down a pass from Piotr Trochowski and cut across him to turn the ball past keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Finnish soccer player Jonathan Johansson

Jonathan Johansson scored the first goal for his side in Helsinki

The home side went back ahead in the 43rd minute when a cross from the left by Joonas Kolkka was volleyed in by Mika Vayrynen, but Klose responded two minutes later at the second attempt after his header from a corner was parried by Jaaskelainen.

The striker has scored only two league goals for Bayern Munich this year, but has continued to find the net for Germany.

"I never allowed myself to be affected (by criticism)," Klose said. "I know what I can do and know if I work hard every day I will be rewarded, and this was the day."

Poor German defending handed Finland goals

For Loew, the problems were elsewhere, with the inexperienced central defence of Westermann and Serdar Tasci looking uncertain and the midfield at times overrun against a Finnish team which looked to switch quickly from defense to attack.

Poor defending led to Finland's third goal. Robert Enke had saved from Johansson at the expense of a corner, but the Germans were then caught napping from the corner, taken short.

Vayrynen had time to cross, and Sjolund -- on for the injured Mikael Forsell just before half-time -- was one of three Finnish players unmarked in front of goal to head firmly past Enke.

Loew sent on a third striker in Mario Gomez for Thomas Hitzlsperger and the Stuttgart forward missed a glaring chance with 12 minutes remaining when he failed to make proper contact with the ball in front of goal and Petri Pasanan cleared off the line.

However Gomez made his presence felt in the box for Germany's equalizer after he took a pass from Klose and saw a shot blocked, before the ball cannoned to Klose who happily struck the ball home.

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