presented by
Klose the saviour

Miro’s hat-trick spares German blushes

Miroslav Klose confirmed his steady return to form with three classic poacher’s goals in Helsinki on Wednesday evening, as the Bayern hitman single-handedly rescued a World Cup qualifying point for Germany in an exciting 3-3 draw with Finland.

The powerful and hard-running Finns led three times after Jonatan Johansson (32), Mika Vayrynen (43) and Daniel Sjolund (53) penetrated a wobbly German back four, but Klose was on hand to level on every occasion, finishing with his left boot on 38 minutes, prodding home a rebound from his own header on the stroke of half-time, and finally cracking home a loose ball to tie up the scores again with just seven minutes remaining.

The Germans now lead European qualifying Group 4 on four points from two games, a point clear of Russia who opened their campaign by beating third-placed Wales 2-1 earlier in the day.

Four FCB starters

Coach Joachim Löw’s starting line-up included all four of his Bayern players, with Philipp Lahm at left-back, Bastian Schweinsteiger in midfield alongside former FCB youth Thomas Hitzlsperger, and Lukas Podolski partnering captain-for-the-night Klose up front.

A 38,000 crowd at the Helsinki Olympic stadium saw the Finns begin brightly, but the visitors restored parity and stalemate prevailed up to the half-hour, until a mistake by Schalke centre-half Heiko Westermann allowed Johansson to blast past Hannover keeper Robert Enke.