Posted by Adekunle Salami on
Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann said on Saturday that his wards were good enough for a semifinal spot in the World Cup after its swift second round victory over Sweden in Munich sent the host to the quarterfinals....
Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann said on Saturday that his wards were good enough for a semifinal spot in the World Cup after its swift second round victory over Sweden in Munich sent the host to the quarterfinals.
Germany booked its place in the quarterfinals as two early goals from Lukas Podolski helped secure victory over 10-man Sweden.
Podolski scored on just four minutes, driving home the loose ball after Sweden keeper Andreas Isaksson parried.
And Podolski finished smartly after Miroslav Klose’s pass on 12 minutes.
“I told my players that the least we can do is the semifinal,” Klinsmann said. “I will say well done to them after we get to the semifinal and then we still go on for the Cup.
“I believe we have a team that should play in the last four. I appreciate the emotions of the fans but for us as professionals, the jubilation stops on the pitch, the business continues.”
Sweden’s Teddy Lucic was sent off for a second booking on 35 minutes and its miserable day was complete when Henrik Larsson missed a second-half penalty.
It was an assured display from Germany, which always looked like adding to their lead after gaining the early advantage.
Both sides were still settling down when Podolski’s goal sent the home fans at the Allianz Arena into raptures.
Michael Ballack created the opening as he found Klose, who turned his marker but saw the ball pushed away from his feet by Isaksson.
However, Podolski was on hand to slot in via a deflection off Lucic’s head.
Larsson had an opportunity to level on eight minutes but shot into the side netting from inside the six-yard box.
He was left to rue his wastefulness four minutes later as Podolski was played in by a delightful pass from Klose before finishing with considerable assurance.
Unsurprisingly, the goals filled Germany with confidence and instilled their play with a real swagger.
Klinsmann’s side surged forward – Ballack’s drive was parried by Isaksson, Bernd Schneider drove wide, Klose’s near-post effort was saved and Bastian Schweinsteiger’s 30-yarder was brilliantly tipped around the post.
And things got worse for Sweden on 35 minutes as Lucic received a second yellow card after being judged to have tugged Klose’s shirt.
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