Germany Beat Belgium, End Euro Campaign 100%


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Germany World Cup winger THOMAS MUELLER (13) of Bayern Munich, who scored his eighth career international goal for Deutschland in Turkey last week, shields the ball from Belgium defender JAN VERTONGHEN (5) of Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam during the Euro 2012 Group A qualification match at the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf.
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European Championships Qualifying
October 11, 2011

3 – GERMANY ————— Oezil 30′, Schuerrle 33′, Gomez 48′
1 – BELGIUM —————– Fellaini 86′

Three well-taken goals inside of eighteen minutes was all that was required to enable three-time European champion GERMANY to see off neighboring BELGIUM 3-1 and finish with the 100% percent record of ten wins from ten qualification matches for the 2012 UEFA European Championships to be hosted jointly this upcoming summer by Poland and the Ukraine.

The Belgians actually needed to win very badly in order to have a realistic shot at second place in Group A and a subsequent playoff opportunity but fell behind just one half hour into the match. Real Madrid midfield legionnaire SAMI KHEDIRA laid a ball off for Spanish La Liga teammate MESUT OEZIL to rocket a rising left-footer past Belgium goalkeeper SIMON MIGNOLET of English Premier League side AFC Sunderland. The 22-year-old Oezil, who missed the last Euro qualifier in Turkey as a result of a minor Achilles tendon injury, showed no signs of last damage and netted his seventh career goal on his 28th international appearance for Germany.

A second goal for Germany effectively took whatever wind may have been in the sails of Belgium away for good with a lightning fast break just three minutes later. Bayern Munich goalkeeper MANUEL NEUER punched away a corner kick taken by Belgium winger EDEN HAZARD of defending French Ligue 1 champion OSC Lille; Oezil controlled the top of the box and quickly played Germany international striker MARIO GOMEZ of Bayern Munich away. At the midfield line, the Bundesliga Torjaegermeister released youthful Bayer Leverkusen winger ANDRE SCHUERRLE, who raced in all alone and confidently chipped over Mignolet to score his fifth goal in only ten matches for Germany.

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Germany central defender MATS HUMMELS (5) of defending Bundesliga champion Borussia Dortmund, the 22-year-old former Bayern Munich reserve team player making his tenth career international appearance, flashes in to halt the progress of Belgium midfielder MAROUANE FELLAINI (8) of English Premier League club FC Everton during the Euro 2012 Group A qualfier at the Esprit Arena.
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Gomez, who led the Bundesliga with 28 strikes last season and currently leads the German top flight with eight goals already this term, added a third goal for Germany just three minutes into the second half. The 26-year-old poacher exchanged passes with Oezil before rifling a low, left-footed laser off the hand of the diving Mignolet and inside the far post to score his second goal in as many international matches. Overall, Gomez now boasts 21 goals from 49 appearances with the national team.

Belgium grabbed a late goal with less than five minutes to play when midfielder MAROUANE FELLAINI of English club FC Everton beat Germany defender PER MERTESACKER, who also plays professionally in the Premier League with FC Arsenal in London after transferring from Werder Bremen this past August, to a corner kick at the near post.

Germany and trainer JOACHIM LOEW established a new measure of excellence for the national team program with a perfect ten victories from ten qualification matches; previously, West Germany had won all eight of its games on the road to the 1982 FIFA World Cup final tournament held in Spain.

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With club teammate and national team captain PHILIPP LAHM (16) on the line guarding the back post, Germany World Cup goalkeeper MANUEL NEUER of Bayern Munich punches the ball away from a pair of would-be Belgian goal scorers currently plying their trade in the English Premier League, midfielder MAROUANE FELLAINI (8) of Liverpool’s FC Everton and striker ROMELU LUKAKU (18) of London’s FC Chelsea, during the Euro 2012 Group A qualification match at the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf.
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GERMANY
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goal — Manuel NEUER (Bayern Munich / 24 caps)

defense — Benedikt HOEWEDES (Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen / 5 caps, 0 go), Per MERTESACKER (FC Arsenal – Eng / 78 caps, 1 go), Mats HUMMELS (Borussia Dortmund / 11 caps, 0 go), Philipp LAHM (Bayern Munich / 85 caps, 4 go)

def mf — Sami KHEDIRA (Real Madrid – Spa / 22 caps, 1 go), Toni KROOS (Bayern Munich / 22 caps, 1 go)

att mf — Thomas MUELLER (Bayern Munich / 23 caps, 8 go), Mesut OEZIL (Real Madrid – Spa / 28 caps, 7 go), Andre SCHUERRLE (Bayer Leverkusen / 10 caps, 5 go)

att — Mario GOMEZ (Bayern Munich / 49 caps, 21 go)

substitutes
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mf – Marco REUS (Borussia Moenchengladbach / 2 caps, 0 go)
for Mueller – 71st min
fw – CACAU (Vfb Stuttgart / 20 caps, 5 go)
for Gomez – 76th min
mf – Ilkay GUENDOGAN (Borussia Dortmund / 1 cap, 0 go)
for Lahm – 84th min

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