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Germans march on

Gomez and Klose on target, but Miro hurt

Five Bayern players were in the starting formation on Tuesday night as Germany took another decisive step towards qualifying for the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and the Ukraine. A 20,000 crowd in the artificial turf-equipped Astana Arena saw the Germans register a fourth win in four qualifiers to date with a 3-0 win over Kazakhstan. “You can’t do better than 12 points from four matches,” enthused captain Philipp Lahm.

The visitors dominated the first half but failed to break the deadlock until Miroslav Klose struck on 48 minutes, chalking up his 58th goal in 105 appearances for his country. However, the Bayern striker sustained a suspected pulled hamstring and was forced to give way to club team-mate Mario Gomez shortly afterwards. Gomez fitted in smoothly and netted the Germans’ second on 76 minutes. Lukas Podolski, provider of excellent assists for the first two goals, converted a fine solo effort five minutes from time to round off the scoring.

Gomez delighted

“Naturally, I’m delighted about my goal,” said Gomez after the final whistle at around 1 am in the morning local time. “After our game in Dortmund, I said I was feeling good and was in good shape, but no-one really believed me. My goal today was important, and it was good for me personally.” It was the former Stuttgart striker’s first goal for his country in a competitive fixture for three years.