presented by
Schweini limps off

Klose on target in milestone appearance

Miroslav Klose marked his 75th international appearance with a 39th goal for his country on Tuesday evening, although Germany were ultimately forced to settle for a 2-2 draw with Belarus in Kaiserslautern. Klose is the most prolific current striker in the German all-time chart, four goals behind sixth-placed Uwe Seeler but still a long way short of legendary 68-goal marksman Gerd Müller.

A 47,258 full house at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion saw the Germans begin with four FCB men in their ranks, Lukas Podolski, Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger joining Klose in the starting formation. Marcell Jansen pulled out with a hamstring problem, and Tim Borowski was sidelined with flu, although the future Munich midfielder is recuperating well and trained as normal on the day of the match.

Putsilo clatters Schweini

As to the game itself, Joachim Löw’s men went in at half time 2-0 up courtesy of Klose’s early opener from Podolski’s assist and a Wladimir Korytko own goal, but the home side faded after the break and Vitali Bulyga pulled one back for Belarus with the first goal past Jens Lehmann in 681 international minutes. Bulyga then contrived a scarcely deserved equaliser two minutes from time.

Schweinsteiger’s 50th Germany cap was one to forget after the midfielder failed to appear for the second half with an ankle injury, sustained in a brutal foul by Anton Putsilo midway through the first period. “My first thought was that it was much worse than it is. The ankle’s swollen and it hurts, but the ligaments are OK, so it looks as if I’ve been lucky, " the FCB man commented afterwards.

All FCB stars make German squad

The 23-year-old will likely require a period off training. “We don’t have a final diagnosis. We’ll have to consider how I can recover fitness as quickly as possible, but I’m confident it won’t take long," Schweini remarked. The player is not considered a doubt for Euro 2008 in 10 days’ time.

Schweinsteiger and his Munich team-mates all made the cut for the final 23-man Germany squad announced by Löw on Wednesday lunchtime. The men to miss out on the tournament in Austria and Switzerland are young hopefuls Marco Marin (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Patrick Helmes (FC Köln) and Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04).