Republic of Ireland - Germany 1-6

After a crushing victory over the Republic of Ireland, Germany remain comfortably on course to reach the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
The victory kept the three-time world champions at the top of their group, while Ireland's manager Giovianni Trapartoni was left in the spotlight after Ireland?s worst competitive home defeat.

Germany took a while to come to terms with Ireland's direct approach before their superior passing and movement slowly wrestled control of the game back in their favour. Despite this, they had to wait until the 31st minute to take the lead. Bastian Schweinsteiger chipped the ball into the area and Marco Reus benefited from the confusion within the Irish defence to hammer the ball in off the underside of Keiren Westwood's crossbar. Reus grabbed a second just five minutes before half time. After being set up by Jerome Boateng, he finished with a powerful and precise shot from the left corner of the penalty box.

The second half left no doubt about Germany's dominance. After Miroslav Klose was needlessly brought down by a reckless tackle from Darren O'Dea in the 54th minute, Mesut Özil stepped up to score the resulting penalty. A sublime pass from Schweinsteiger sent Klose clear to score the fourth goal three minutes later. The striker sped away from the defence and cruised around the onrushing Westwood, finishing clinically with a fine shot into the left-hand corner of the goal. It was Klose?s 65th goal for the national team and the Lazio striker is now just three goals behind the legendary Gerd Müller in Germany's all time scoring chart. Toni Kroos then took centre stage with two fantastic, long distance strikes, his first competitive goals for Germany. In stoppage time, Neuer tipped an effort from Keogh around the post. From the resulting corner though, the substitute gave the German number one no chance with his header, finally giving the home fans something to cheer about.

The game proved a useful warm-up for Germany ahead of their next qualifier against Sweden in Berlin on Tuesday. Coach 'Jogi' Löw and his squad know that Sweden are arguably their strongest opponents in the group and victory against them may well decide who tops the group.

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