Germany’s World Cup plans remained on track as they notched up a straightforward win in Leverkusen against South Africa on Saturday with two strikes from Mario Gomez and Mesut Oezil.
It was Swiss referee, Claudio Circhetta that got the game under way. And debutant, Marko Marin, almost made an early name for himself having been played in by Mario Gomez. He fired one shot over and was then denied by keeper Rowan Fernandez.
Gomez then had a chance of his own on seven minutes after Werder Bremen midfielder Oezil,sent through a slick pass. However, the Bayern forward was unable to hit the target from a tight angle.
South Africa’s first moment of danger arrived after ten minutes when they combined well on the edge of the German penalty area, but the final pass to Steven Pienaar was just over-hit and Rene Adler cleaned up.
A shot from distance from Kagisho Dikgacoi’s gave Rene Adler his first save to make on 13 minutes but the Leverkusen keeper was up to the task. Four minutes later and South African counterpart Fernandez was called upon to deal with a well-hit free-kick from Marko Marin.
Having looked the better side in the opening phase, Germany allowed the visitors back into the game and the speed of the game began to slow. However, this was hosts leading South Africa into a fall sense of security, because they took the lead with a goal on 35 minutes.
A quick piece of combination play saw Oezil play in Michael Ballack. The captain’s pass inside from the left was met by the incoming Mario Gomez, who finished off the move with the visitors claiming offside.
Two minutes later and Rene Adler had to pull off a very good reflex save after Arne Friedrich had unwittingly deflected a free-kick goalwards.
Joachim Loew’s side went in at half-time with a deserved 1-0 lead though, having bossed the first 45 minutes against Bafana Bafana without exactly setting the world alight.
Germany changed their strike duo at the interval with Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski replacing Mario Gomez and Marko Marin. It was, however, South Africa who had the first effort on goal with Pienaar hitting a shot over the bar from distance.
Oezil continued to impress, after a late run enabled him to test Fernandez with a shot, before then setting up Podolski for a good chance. With 65 minutes on the clock he then delivered a corner which was met well by the head of Michael Ballack only to cannon back off the post and bounce into the goalkeeper’s arms.
Germany were once again upping the pressure on their guests and that pressure duly paid off on 77 minutes with a second goal. Bastian Schweinsteiger passed to Klose, who then played an instant ball to Oezil. Clear-through on Rowan Fernandez, the midfielder capped an impressive performance by firing clinically passed the African keeper and into the bottom corner.
German keeper Rene Adler refused to be beaten on his home ground and produced a great save right at the death to deny Bernard Parker following a cross from Siboniso Pa Gaxa.
The result leaves Germany in fine condition as they head into Wednesday’s crucial World Cup qualifier at home to group minnows, Azerbaijan
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