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Germany See Off Battling Gibraltar With Thomas Muller Double

in Sports/Top News

GERMANY picked up their obligatory Group D win over Gibraltar but the expected flurry of goals failed to arrive as they managed only four without reply in Nuremberg.

Thomas Müller was on target twice with Mario Götze raising Germany’s lead to three before half-time. An own-goal from Yogan Santos midway through the second half made it four but the world champions were unable to add any more.

Gibraltar played, as expected, with 10 men behind the ball, leaving just Liam Walker to wait for very rare touches inside the Germany half.

It seemed to be going according to plan for Germany when Shkodran Mustafi’s cross from the right struck the near post and bounced out for Müller to open the scoring in the 12th minute.

The floodgates did not open, though, because Gibraltar’s wall of players were holding them firmly closed, although a powerful cross from Karim Bellarabi almost ended in the back of the net off a Gibraltar defender.

The hosts doubled their lead before the half-hour when Götze put Lukas Podolski in down the left and his cross was an open invitation for Müller to tuck in his second.

Only nine more minutes passed before Germany got their third with Max Kruse setting up Götze to skip past the last defender and send his shot diagonally into the far corner.

Walker’s moment came, and went, just before half-time when his lobbed shot was turned behind by Manuel Neuer.

Germany’s coach, Joachim Löw, covered his face almost in shame as his World Cup-winning side went within inches of conceding to Gibraltar.

A Gibraltar player did get his name on the scoresheet midway through the second half when Santos turned Podolski’s dangerous cross from the left into his own goal, but still the flood of goals did not materialise.

Having lost 7-0 to both Poland and the Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar will take pride from their performance in Nuremberg, conceding only four to the world champions who did their duty but little more than that. – The Guardian

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