Germany purges World Cup ghosts

16th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 December 2004 , YOKOHAMA - Germany started a three-game Asia tour with a 3-0 victory in Japan on Thursday to shake off some recent World Cup ghosts and boost morale for the 2006 edition they will host. Miroslav Klose got his second double in as many matches - the first after a blunder from goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki - and captain Michael Ballack from Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich got the other with a spectacular shot. Germany remained undefeated under coach Juergen Klinsmann with now four wins and a d

16 December 2004

YOKOHAMA - Germany started a three-game Asia tour with a 3-0 victory in Japan on Thursday to shake off some recent World Cup ghosts and boost morale for the 2006 edition they will host.

Miroslav Klose got his second double in as many matches - the first after a blunder from goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki - and captain Michael Ballack from Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich got the other with a spectacular shot.

Germany remained undefeated under coach Juergen Klinsmann with now four wins and a draw.

Victory in front of a sellout crowd of 61,000 in Yokohama was sweet for Germany, who had lost the last match there with a 2-0 score in the 2002 World Cup final against Brazil - with Ballack suspended and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn blundering on that day.

"I wondered what it would be like to return to the stadium," said Kahn. "But that is the past. You have to look ahead. In two years time we can take the step we failed to make here in 2002."

Kahn named Germany's match a "very strong performance" and Klinsmann also heaped praise on his team which won 3-0 for the second time in a row from second-half goals - the other being last month against Cameroon.

"It was one of those matches where you have to wear down the opponent. The team presented itself in a very impressive way," Klinsmann said.

Thursday's game marked the first international match between Japan and Germany, who will now play at 2002 World Cup co-hosts South Korea on Sunday and in Thailand next Tuesday.

The Asian champions Japan missed their Europe-based stars Hidetoshi Nakata and Shinji Ono, but Junichi Inamoto returned to action from a leg fracture into Zico's team.

Germany were also under strength as Werder Bremen left back Christian Schulz and right back Patrick Owomoyela won their first cap. Kaiserslautern's Marco Engelhardt also debuted as a substitute.

Klinsmann fielded a three-man attack with Klose, Gerald Asamoah and Lukas Podolski as Germany pressed from the start, with Fabian Ernst aiming wide right in the first minute.

In the 15th, Narazaki denied Ballack and the captain's second attempt was stopped on the goal-line by Mitsuo Ogasawara. Three minutes later Gerald Asamoah's back-heeler off a corner kick was also cleared on the line, this time by Alex.

Japan, spearheaded by SV Hamburg striker Naohiro Takahara, failed to create serious danger against Kahn, before a mistake from their goalkeeper Narazaki gift Germany a deserved lead in the 54th minute.

The Nagoya goalkeeper failed to hold on to a free kick from Ballack (which would have sailed wide) and the Werder Bremen striker Klose slotted home with his right foot.

Narazaki later made up for his mistake with several spectacular saves, but stood no chance against Ballack, who fired a curling shot from 20 metres high into the net for 2-0 in the 69th.

Klose wrapped up matters in injury time with his fourth goal in two games and the 20th overall in 44 caps, a 10m low shot which hit the net off the left post.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

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