Saturday 24 March 2018

Reus on the double to keep Germany in control


Germany, again playing without a recognised striker, hit three goals in eight minutes on the way to an easy win in Nuremberg that kept them in control of Group C.

Borussia Dortmund trio Marco Reus, Mario Goetze and Ilkay Guendogan scored in the first half and Reus added a fourth goal in stoppage-time at the end of the game as group leaders Germany won for the fifth time in six qualifiers.

The Germans, who also hit the woodwork six times in a one-sided encounter that at times looked more like a friendly, played without a recognised striker just as they did in Friday's 3-0 victory in Kazakhstan.

Germany produced some lightning-quick passing to open up the Kazakh defence time and time again. Despite being without Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez, they put their opponents on the back foot from the start on a bitterly cold evening.

It was only a matter of time before a goal came and it was Reus who found the target after a good solo run and an unstoppable 18-metre drive.

Goetze, who also rattled the woodwork, made it 2-0 in the 27th minute when he latched on to a Philipp Lahm cut-back.

Guendogan then made amends for an earlier miss, tapping in a well-timed Mesut Ozil pass in the 31st minute.

The visitors needed a German mistake to pull one back after the restart, with Bundesliga-based Heinrich Schmidtgal drilling the ball in after 'keeper Manuel Neuer spectacularly miscued on the edge of the box.

The Germans continued to carve out chance after chance but outstanding 'keeper Andrei Sidelnikov kept them out until Reus completed the scoring late on. Kazakhstan have just one point from six matches.

Irish Independent

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