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Sports

Win Puts Germany Atop World Cup Qualifying Group

Germany's national team coach Joachim Loew said it was mission accomplished as his side took a four-point lead in their World Cup qualifying group thanks to 1-0 win over Wales.

German soccer player laying on grass with arms spread out in celebration

Wednesday's win has Germany sailing into the Group 4 lead

By halftime of the match on Wednesday, Oct. 15, between Germany and Wales, the 44,500 fans gathered at the Borussia Stadium in Moenchengladbach were on the edge of their seats. Despite many attempts by Germany at the goal, the scoreboard had yet to change.

"We failed to score an early goal and made life a bit hard for ourselves," said Germany captain Michael Ballack, who'd only gotten the green light to play that day after suffering a calf injury.

The second half got off to a better start with Germany putting Wales under intense pressure.

"On top of the world"

Close up head shot of soccer player Trochowski in stadium

Trochowski scored the winning goal in his first game wtih the national team

In his first game with the national team, Hamburg's Piotr Trochowski made several attempts on goal before finally finding the back of the net in the 72nd minute.

"I'm on top of the world," Trochowski said. "It's been a while since I shot so many times on goal. The ball had to go in at sometime."

German fans, players and coach Joachim Loew alike could breathe a sigh of relief.

"We invested a lot in the second half and our team was mentally very strong," said trainer Joachim Loew. The important thing, he said, was the team's advancement in their World Cup qualifying group.

In their third win from four games, Germany is finishing the year with 10 points, ahead of Russia and Wales who earned six each. The points are a sizable step towards claiming the single guaranteed place at South Africa 2010 from Group Four.

"With six points from the last two matches, we are absolutely content," said Loew. "We are the group leaders, which is a good foundation to build on for next year.

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