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Germany cruise to victory in Austria

  • Story Highlights
  • Germany recover from a poor first half display to defeat Austria 3-0 in Vienna
  • Miroslav Klose's strike puts him joint seventh in the all-time goalscorers list
  • Midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger and subsititute Mario Gomez also on target
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VIENNA, Austria -- Miroslav Klose netted his 37th international goal as Germany sealed a 3-0 friendly win over Austria in Vienna.

Germany players celebrate Thomas Hitzlsperger's opening goal in the 3-0 victory against Austria.

Klose is now up to joint seventh in Germany's all-time list of scorers on his 73rd appearance for his country, although the visitors only came to life in the second half after a poor opening 45 minutes.

Coach Joachim Loew showed his frustration on the touchline as his side, with only midfielder Torsten Frings and defender Christoph Metzelder absent, struggled to find their form.

Goals by midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, Klose and subsititute Mario Gomez eventually spared Loew's blushes, but there was little excuse for such a poor first half display at Vienna's Ernst Happel Stadium.

The sides will next meet on June 16 in Vienna in Group B of Euro 2008 and Austria have nothing to fear having pushed Germany hard in the opening half and squandered a number of clear chances.

A spectacular mistake by goalkeeper Jens Lehmann in the opening quarter came close to putting Austria into the lead as they squandered an open goal.

After months of debate in Germany as to whether Lehmann should remain as first-choice goalkeeper even though he is on the bench at Arsenal, the 38-year-old nearly decided the issue with a huge blunder.

Having left his penalty area on 22 minutes Lehmann was wrong-footed after attempting a challenge on Austria's Roland Linz.

The striker was left with a free shot on goal and only some good defending by Werder Bremen's Per Mertsacker saved Lehmann.

Germany allowed their hosts to attack at will and when midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz spotted Christian Fuchs in acres of space on the left, Fuchs fired in a shot which Lehmann saved with his feet on 29 minutes.

Things improved after the break when Stuttgart's Hitzelsperger controlled a loose clearance in front of goal and drove home his shot from 30 meters out past goalkeeper Alex Manninger.

After more than 10 months out of the side, captain Michael Ballack showed his persistent ankle injury was a thing of the past as he outpaced the home defense and turned the ball in for Klose to make it 2-0.

Gomez headed the third German goal on 80 minutes to put the result beyond doubt. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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