Sunday, June 13, 2010

Germany crush Aussies in World Cup opener

Three-time champions Germany fired off a warning to World Cup challengers with a comprehensive 4-0 dismantling of Australia in their opening Group D match in Durban Sunday.

The Germans totally dominated the Socceroos, with captain Philipp Lahm and rising stars Mesut Özil and Thomas Müller running Australian veterans Scott Chipperfield and Craig Moore ragged down the right wing.

Goals from Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose, Müller and Brazil-born striker Cacau were just rewards for a team which also had a hatful of other scoring opportunities.

The victory leaves Germany atop of Group D, Ghana having beaten Serbia 1-0 in the day's other game.

Podolski opened the scoring in the ninth minute, the happy recipient of a text-book training ground move executed to clinical perfection.

After Özil had played in Müller, the Bayern Munich right winger cut the ball back across the face of the goal for Podolski to hammer home left-footed, with Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer getting a hand on it.

Klose, top scorer in the 2006 World Cup, made it 2-0 in the 27th minute with a well-taken goal - and his 11th in World Cup finals - rising between Australian captain Lucas Neill and Schwarzer to head powerfully home from a Lahm cross from the right.

"Everything worked well and it is important that things went well in the first game," Klose said. "We have earned some respect. You could see that we had fun playing football out there. I know what I can do. I feel great."

Germany coach Joachim Löw was delighted too.

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