Germans tear Aussies apart
Germany made light work of 10-man Australia to kick-off their World Cup campaign with an impressive 4-0 win.
By Elliot Ball
Last Updated: 13/06/10 10:51pm
The new-look Germany made light work of 10-man Australia to kick-off their World Cup campaign with an impressive 4-0 win in Durban.
Joachim Low's youthful outfit dismantled their ageing Group D opponents to top the table alongside Ghana, who beat Serbia 1-0 earlier in the day, after becoming the first side in the South Africa finals to score more than two goals.
Lukas Podolski put the Germans in front within eight minutes with an unstoppable drive after latching onto Thomas Muller's centre.
Miroslav Klose extended his World Cup scoring spree as he took advantage of some lax Australia defending to head home his 11th finals goal from Philipp Lahm's searching cross.
Tim Cahill became the fourth player to see red in this year's tournament after the Socceroos midfielder's clumsy challenge on Bastian Schweinsteiger before Muller scored his first goal in national colours in the 68th minute.
And there was time for Cacau to come off the bench and add a fourth two minutes later, as Low's side rubber-stamped their World Cup credentials with an emphatic win at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Low, whose side had not lost a group game since 1994, handed out-of-form Klose the lone striker's role and it proved a wise move.
The men from Down Under had the better of the opening stages and came close to taking the lead in the third minute.
During a scramble in the area, Richard Garcia's close-range shot was blocked by Lahm.
The Germans responded shortly after, with an unmarked Klose surging inside the area and hitting a right-footed strike towards the centre of goal which Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer parried away.
Podolski made no mistake seconds later. He got behind Muller's pull back from the right and drove the ball in from 15 yards. Schwarzer managed to get a fist on the ball but it was too hot for the Fulham shot-stopper to handle.
Jason Culina could have restored parity in the 17th minute but he nodded high from Brett Emerton's cross.
Midway through the first half, Klose missed a glorious chance to make it 2-0. The veteran got behind Podolski's cross and struck the ball wide from the heart of the area.
Klose made amends shortly after as he extended his team's lead in the 26th minute after sloppy defending by Australia.
Schwarzer came off his line and got to Klose just as the striker headed home from Lahm's cross from the right.
On the half-hour mark, captain Lucas Neill managed to clear Mesut Ozil's goalbound shot with Schwarzer already beaten.
Germany's Sami Khedira headed high over the crossbar as Germany went into the break after a near-perfect first half.
Australia coach Pim Verbeek brought on Brett Holman at half-time in the hope of sparking his team into life.
Holman tried to make an immediate impact but his diagonal shot went wide of Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer's far post.
Australia's hopes then nose-dived when Cahill was shown a straight red card for a tackle from behind on Schweinsteiger.
With one man short, Australia struggled to stop Germany's advances and conceded shortly after the hour mark.
Muller got away from his marker before lashing home a shot in off the post.
Australia had little time to react as Germany struck again two minutes later - Ozil surged down the left and cut it back for Brazilian-born striker Cacau to slot past Schwarzer.