Australia brushed aside by clinical Germany
Germany have efficiently disposed of ten man Australia, winning 4-0 in Group D of the World Cup in Durban. Group DGermany: 4 (Lukas Podolski 8', Miroslav Klose 26', Thomas Muller 68', Cacau 70') Australia: 0
Venue: Durban Stadium - Durban Crowd: 67,000 Referee: Marco Rodriguez (MEX) Yellow cards:GER - Mesut Ozil 12', Cacau 90+2' AUS - Craig Moore 24', Lucas Neill 46', Carl Valeri 58' Red card: Tim Cahill 56'
Australia started brightly and came close to opening the scoring in just the 3rd minute when Richard Garcia had a shot blocked by Germany captain Philipp Lahm but it was their attacking mindset which led to their downfall early as Lukas Podolski was able to find space at the top of the area and drill home off the hands of Mark Schwarzer after a brilliant cut-back pass from Thomas Muller.
The signs were ominous for the Socceroos as Germany looked dangerous on every forward foray and it was made 2-0 by Miroslav Klose in the 26th minute after a pinpoint cross from Lahm as the World Cup specialist netted his 11th World Cup with a trademark header past an advancing Schwarzer.
Australia were lucky to go into the break only two goals down as the Germans were showing their intent but they did not go into their shell in the early stages of the second term as substitute Brett Holman provided a bit of a spark.
However, it was that attacking attitude which gave Germany the invitation to push hard and a string of quality passes almost ended in a goal to Muller in the 54th minute but his shot was skewed wide.
Two minutes later, things went from bad to worse for Pim Verbeek's side when star player Tim Cahill was sent off for a late challenge on Bastian Schweinsteiger. It was a questionable decision from referee Marco Rodriguez as Cahill did not come in too hard even though it was late but nonetheless, the decision was made and the Socceroos were down to ten men.
In the 68th minute, Germany went ahead 3-0 after a good build-up through the centre which ended with Muller who turned Scott Chipperfield in the area before powering past Schwarzer and into the upright before substitute Cacau added a fourth with an easy tap-in as Mesut Ozil again got in behind the defence down the left flank and provided a perfect ball for the Brazilian-born striker to score with ease.
Germany would be delighted with their performance as they completely controlled proceedings and set themselves up for a Round of 16 berth.
GER Manuel Neuer (gk), Arne Friedrich, Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil (Gomez 74'), Lukas Podolski (Marin 81'), Miroslav Klose (Cacau 68'), Thomas Muller, Holger Badstuber, Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker
Subs - Cacau (68'), Mario Gomez (74'), Marko Marin (81')
AUS Mark Schwarzer (gk), Lucas Neill, Craig Moore, Tim Cahill, Jason Culina, Brett Emerton (Jedinak 74'), Luke Wilkshire, Scott Chipperfield, Vince Grella (Holman 46'), Carl Valeri, Richard Garcia (Rukavytsya 64')