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Germany prove too good for Cyprus

  • Story Highlights
  • Germany beat Cyprus 4-0 in Hannover as they keep pressure on the Czechs
  • Lukas Podolski scores and produces a superb performance for the Germans
  • The Czech Republic remain top of the group after defeating Slovakia 3-1
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HANNOVER, Germany -- Germany maintained the pressure on the Czech Republic in the race for top spot in Group D with a comfortable 4-0 win against Cyprus in Hannover.

Lukas Podolski celebrates his goal as Germany cruised to a 4-0 victory over Cyprus.

Both sides have already qualified for EURO 2008 but Germany showed no sign of letting up as Bayern Munich pair Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski struck either side of half-time to build on Clemens Fritz's second-minute opener.

Thomas Hitzlsperger added the fourth in the 82nd minute as Germany claimed their eighth win in the group to move level with the Czech Republic on 26 points.

Germany were quick out of the blocks and celebrated their first goal after less than 120 seconds. Podolski's determination paid off and he pulled the ball back from the goalline for Fritz to score with a far-post header.

Klose added the second on 20 minutes, accepting a pass from the selfless Fritz in a central position and firing in from eight meters out.

Podolski was Germany's main threat, and he finally got the goal an excellent performance warranted when he turned in Klose's low cross from the right eight minutes into the second half.

The impressive Podolski turned provider for the final goal eight minutes from time, making a determined run to the goalline before squaring for Hitzlsperger, whose simple tap-in completed the scoring.

Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky was among the goals for the Czech Republic as they beat neighbors Slovakia 3-1 in Prague to remain top of the group by virtue of their head-to-head with Germany.

Germany conclude their qualifying campaign at home to Wales on Wednesday while the Czech Republic travel to Cyprus.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands secured their place in the finals with a narrow 1-0 win over Luxembourg in Group G.

Danny Koevermans scored the only goal for the Dutch two minutes before half time to seal their place in the finals alongside Romania -- who remain top of the group having already qualified, despite losing 1-0 to Bulgaria in Sofia.

Spain beat Sweden 3-0 with goals by Joan Capdevila, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos, while Northern Ireland maintained their slim chance of catching Sweden by beating Denmark 2-1.

David Healy scored the winning goal to set a European Championship qualifying record of 13 goals, overtaking Davor Suker's 12-goal mark.

Northern Ireland must now beat already-qualified Spain in Las Palmas on Wednesday and hope that Latvia can win in Sweden on the same night, if they are to reach the finals. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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