/ Soccer

Germany 4-1 Kazakhstan

Updated: Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 21:58 | Comments

Germany players celebrate another goal
Germany players celebrate another goal

Germany took another step towards next year's World Cup thanks to their Borussia Dortmund connection in a 4-1 win over Kazakhstan.

Marco Reus was on target twice with Mario Gotze and Ilkay Gundogan also scoring for Joachim Low's men.

Greuther Furth's Heinrich Schmidtgal scored a consolation for the visitors, who caused Germany an unexpectedly high number of problems in the second half, leaving Low with plenty to ponder despite the victory.

Like in Astana on Friday, Germany initially struggled to break down the Kazakhstan defence, but two quick-fire goals then opened the floodgates.

It took Germany 21 minutes to open their account away from home with the second goal arriving a minute later.

In the very same minutes in Nuremberg, they hit the woodwork through Gundogan and Gotze before, a minute later, Reus opened the scoring.

The Dortmund midfielder cut in from the left and sent a 20-yard shot low into the bottom left-hand corner.

Four minutes later, a marauding run from Philipp Lahm, who skipped his way past three challenges on his way to the goal line, culminated in the Bayern Munich full-back pulling the ball across to Gotze, who diverted the ball into an unguarded goal.

Another four minutes were required for Germany to make it three and equal Friday's scoreline with Gundogan, who had also hit the crossbar, making it third time lucky in his former home stadium.

Mesut Ozil was the provider for the Dortmund midfielder's first goal for Germany, which he tucked home from just six yards.

Germany's attacking moves cut through the Kazakhstan defence like a knife through butter, yet they were unable to add a fourth before the break.

It seemed goalkeeper Manuel Neuer wanted to get involved in an attacking sense too when he picked up the ball from Per Mertesacker, but a bad touch took the ball too far away from him on the edge of his own penalty area and Schmidtgal pounced to grab a consolation for the visitors in the first minute of the second half.

One of the biggest criticisms Low had of his side on Friday was that they took their foot off the accelerator too soon, but that was not the case at the Frankenstadion.

Only the woodwork prevented them from increasing their lead as it denied them for a fourth and fifth time with Real Madrid duo Ozil and Sami Khedira hitting either post as the ball appeared not to want to go in.

Thomas Muller's header was touched onto the crossbar by the Kazakhstan goalkeeper as the framework rattled once again in the 75th minute.

At the other end, the post then came to Germany's rescue with Valeriy Korobkin's volley coming close to making things interesting.

Germany's defence continued to cause concern with Schmidtgal's shot cleared off the goal line as Kazakhstan continued to probe.

Reus then settled the home fans' nerves with a fourth goal in the last minute after being put through by Gundogan, Germany's biggest winner in Nuremberg.

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