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Germany Stroll To Win

Germany cruised to a 3-0 lead as they battled Ecuador for Group A Supremacy in Berlin.

Final – Olympiastadion, Berlin Attendance: 72,000
Ecuador 0 – 3 Germany
  Miroslav Klose (4)
Miroslav Klose (44)
Lukas Podolski (57)
Game 33  

FT: The final whistle blows, and Germany cruise through with three wins out of three. Don’t read too much into this result though; Ecuador were happy to have secuerd their last-16 spot with a game to spare, and played a second-string side here. The game became little more than a training exercise, albeit a highly positive one for Germany. Ballack effortlessly controlled the game from midfield, easing himself nicely back into the flow after injury, while Klose and Podolski were lively upfront against dozing Ecuador defenders. Podolski’s goal in particular will be a real boost to the Germans after he missed a few chances. Ecuador put all their effort into the first two games, and after two cracking victories over Poland and Costa Rica, this was a very subdued showing. They’ll hiope to regain that early form in the second round, whoever they meet.

90 mins: Kaviedes goes down under Asamoah’s challenge, but the ref isn’t interested and Germany bring the ball clear.

90 mins: De la Cruz crosses from the right, and Lehmann gathers comfortably.

90 mins: Kaviedes’ strike deflects wide for a corner.

90 mins: Ambrossi is fouled on the edge of the box by Huth, and Ecuador have the chane of a late goal.

89 mins: Lahm crosses to the back post where Asamoah is lurking, but he’s penalised for a foul on Guagua.

88 mins: Friedrich holds off the pint-sized Lara and it’s a Germany goal-kick.

87 mins: Lahm tees up Ballack who smashes a powerful shot that Mora does well to gather at the second attempt. Great strike from Ballack – a yard either side and it was number four.

86 mins: More cosy midfield possession for Germany, and the home fans are in party mood.

85 mins: More terrible defending from De la Cruz, letting the ball bounce in his own area and seeing Schweinsteiger nip in and take the ball away. His shot is a decent one, but Mora beats it away two-handed.

84 mins: Guagua gives the ball away in midfield and then concedes a free-kick for a foul on Borowski.

83 mins: Mendez takes the free-kick. His cross deflects off the two-man wall and is cleared to safety.

82 mins: Lara is chopped down by Friedrich to earn a free-kick on the left for Ecuador.

81 mins: Another good, quick German break from an Ecuador corner, but Neuville can’t quite find Podolski and Mora gathers.

80 mins: Raking pass from the right by Tenorio is headed behind for a corner by Friedrich. Ecuador are in no hurry to take it.

79 mins: Now it’s Germany passing the ball contentedly around in midfield, and both teams appear happy to let the game wind down to its inevitable conclusion.

78 mins: Ecuador keep the ball nicely in midfield, but Germany seem content for the SOuth Americans to have the ball in non-threatening areas.

77 mins: Asamoah does well on the right and squares the ball to Ballack, but his shot from distance is always rising over the bar.

77 mins: Schweinsteiger shoots straight at Mora when well-placed.

76 mins: A German break is halted by Espinoza blocking Podolski and conceding a free-kick.

75 mins: Mendez whips the free-kick into the box from the left, but it’s easy for Lehmann.

75 mins: After a few fouls in his brief time on the pitch, Borowski has foolishly earned a caution.

74 mins: Friedrich concedes a throw as Ecuador half-heartedly press forward in search of a consolation goal.

73 mins: Borowski dispossesses Benitez in midfield.

72 mins: All six substitutions made now, with the hard-working Schneider replaced by Gerald Asamoah.

71 mins: Good effort from Mendez, bending up andover the wall, but not getting enough dip to get the ball under the bar. It flicked the roof of the net with Lehmann rooted to the spot.

70 mins: Benitez wins a free-kick within shooting range for Ecuador after being caught by the long legs of Borowski.

69 mins: Patricio Urrutia is on for Ecuador, replaceing Ayovi.

68 mins: If it’s possible for a player to be like a miniature Aaron Lennon, then that’s what Lara is. He skips past Lahm, but can’t catch up with the ball and Germany have a goal-kick.

67 mins: Double change for the Germans. Oliver Neuville and Tim Borowski – who is a clear foot taller than Lara – are on, with Frings and the impressive Klose making way.

66 mins: Lara has made a bit of an impression here, shooting just wide from 25 yards out.

65 mins: Good work from Klose, and his cross from the right deserved better than Ballack standing and watching it go by. No-one gambled on going to the near post and Ecuador clear.

65 mins: Mendez cross is too long for Kaviedes and Lehmann gathers.

64 mins: Lara tries a jinking run but trips over the ball. At least it was an Ecuador player showing some ambition.

63 mins: Christian Lara replaces Valencia. Lara is the smallest player at the World Cup, fact fans. Yes, smaller even than little Aaron Lennon.

62 mins: Friedrich tees up Ballack who shoots wide from distance.

61 mins: Klose gives away a free-kick in midfield, but it shows good commitment from the striker.

60 mins: Ecuador enjoy a period of possession in midfield, but show little inclination to get the bal forward.

59 mins: Almost two in two minutes for Podolski as Klose bursts free and cuts the ball back. Podolski didn’t get enough on the shot though, and Mora makes a comfortable save.

58 mins: Germany have done what was required today, but they mustn’t get carried away with a routine victory over opponents who clearly have one eye on their next game.

57 mins: GOAL PODOLSKI – Germany break quickly from the Ecuador corner. The ball comes to Schneider on the right and his low cross is perefct for Podolski, who couldn’t miss from close range. It’s the goal all of Germany has been waiting for, and it was a wonderful incisive break from the hosts.

56 mins: Another decent shot on goal from Ecuador, this time Mendez forcing Lehmann to tip over. Almost identical to Tenorio’s effort, and in truth Lehmann was hardly troubled.

56 mins: Ambrossi finds a good position on the left, but his slip means he can’t keep possession.

55 mins: Cheers from the crowd as the stadium announcer reveals that the game is a sell-out. Who’d have thought it?

54 mins: Glorious chance for the out-of-sorts Podolski to break his duck. Guagua pulled out of a challenge setting Lahm free. He pulls the ball back for Podolski who shoots wide with the goal at his mercy.

53 mins: Frings whips the ball into the box but straight at Mora.

52 mins: Another free-kick for Germany as Ayovi trips Schweinsteiger.

51 mins: Late lunge on Ballack by Valencia earns a deserved yellow card. Fortunately Ballack jumped the worst of the challenge or that could have ended in serious injury. THe studs were showing and Valencia could easily have seen red for that one.

51 mins: Espinoza is through on goal after staying forward from the corner, but he used an arm to control the ball, and Germany have a free-kick.

50 mins: Espinoza gets a good flick-on but Benitez is on his heels and can’t capitalise.

50 mins: Germany get the corner clear, but Ambrossi forces another flag-kick on the left.

49 mins: Edwin Tenorio tries his luck from distance, and Lehmann is forced to tip over the bar.

48 mins: Lahm’s long ball down the left is shepherded back to the keeper by De la Cruz. There are signs early in this half that Ecuador are just slightly more committed now, presumably keen to avoid a hiding from the hosts.

47 mins: Friedrich overlaps on the right but his cross is disappointing, flying straight out for a goal-kick.

46 mins: Early chance for Podolski, but the ball just won’t fall for him and he is eventually crowded out by Ecuador defenders.

46 mins: Germany get the second half underway knowing that they are heading for the top of the group with a 100 per cent record. Ecuador make one change at half time, bringing on Cristian Benitez for Borja.

HT: Ecuador 0 Germany 2

HT: Everything’s going very nicely for Germany at the interval, but in truth this has the feel of a training game. A much-changed Ecuador side haev shown none of the verve that earned them cracking victories over Poland and Costa Rica, and we’ll learn nothing about either of England’s possible second-round opponents from this mismatch.

45 mins: Schneider fouls Ambrossi as he tries to get round the defender.

45 mins: There will be two minutes of added time at the end of the first half. It looks like being something of a walkover for Germany against an Ecuador side who appear happy just to have made the last 16.

44 mins: Klose scored five goals in the 2002 World Cup, all with his head. He’s got four in 2006 now, and they’ve all come with his feet.

43 mins: GOAL KLOSE – Best bit of football in a dreary game as Ballack dinks the ball delightfully over the centre-backs and Klose coolly rounds Mora and slots home into an empty net. Klose’s out on his own in the race for the Golden Boot now with four goals.

42 mins: Kaviedes’ cross deflects off Huth, and Lehmann comes out well to claim, showing no ill-effects from that injury that so troubled him two minutes ago.

42 mins: Lehmann seems to be OK now after receiving some attention from the physio.

40 mins: Worryingly for Germany, Lehmann seems to have picked up a knock on the hip that will require some treatment. He clashed with Kaviedes, and as usual, Lehmann is narky about any opposing player invading his personal space.

39 mins: Podolski finds Schweinsteiger on the left, but his cross is poor and easily headed clear by Guagua.

38 mins: Ambrossi is penalised for a physical challenge on Schneider in midfield.

37 mins: Borja dummies Valencia’s pass nicely, catching out Arne Friedrich, but Kaviedes shoots over the bar from a tight angle.

36 mins: Ballack crosses from the left, but the ball is intercepted before it reaches Klose. Germany look laboured going forward and are struggling to break down an uninterested, second-string Ecuador back line.

35 mins: Ballack helps the ball towards the area, but Ecuador deal with it easily.

34 mins: Guagua fouls Ballack in an aerila challenge in midfield, and is perhaps lucky to escape a booking after leading with the arm.

34 mins: More sloppy defending from Ecuador as Per Mertesacker’s lofted pass is allowed to fall to Klose, but his first-time volley is off target.

33 mins: Schweinsteiger’s free-kick is headed clear for a Germany throw.

32 mins: De la Cruz brings down a marauding Lahm, but it’s very harsh on the Ecuador defender who simply muscled the German out. Strange that a team coached by Jurgen Klinsmann is so full of players happy to hit the deck at the slightest provocation.

31 mins: Schneider’s cross is half-cleared by Guagua, but Klose has to stretch for the shot and slices well wide of the target.

30 mins: Ballack sets Podolski free, but Mora comes out of his area quickly to clear. The ball comes back to Ballack but he can’t find the empty net from just past halfway, and Ecuador have the goal-kick.

29 mins: Schneider crosses low from the right, and Podolski tries to lay the ball into Klose’s path but is flagged offside.

28 mins: Schweinsteiger overhits the delivery and it goes straight out of play. The whistle had already gone in any case for a foul by Huth.

27 mins: Schweinsteiger wins a cheap free-kick on the left from a nothing challenge by Guagua.

26 mins: Ecuador look for a long ball to Felix Borja, but it’s overhit and out for a goal-kick.

25 mins: Bernd Schneider lifts the ball into Klose’s path, but at full stretch he can’t divert the ball wide of the keeper who gatheres gratefully.

24 mins: Edwin Tenorio is pulled up for a foul on Klose.

23 mins: Paul Ambrossi almost gets on the end of Valencia’ pass down the left, but the ball just goes out of play for a goal-kick.

22 mins: Podolski thinks he’s in again, but belatedly the linesman flags him offside from Klose’s ball. Right decision in the end.

21 mins: Kaviedes is down injured after an accidental kick in the head from Schweinsteiger.

20 mins: Podolski is almost set free by Lahm’s long ball over the top, but the striker is flagged offside.

19 mins: Another escape for Ecuador, who look dozy at the back. Villa fans won’t be surprised to hear that De la Cruz is probably the worst offender.

18 mins: Frings brings the ball forward again for Germany before finding Frings on the left. De la Cruz watches Lahm go and his cross finds Ballack who volleys over the bar from 16 yards.

17 mins: Edwin Tenorio is fouled, but Ecuador take the free-kick too quickly and Edison Mendez wastes a good opportunity by shooting well wide.

16 mins: Ballack looks long for Klose but Guagua heads clear.

15 mins: De la Cruz breaks down the right and gets the better of Lahm, but his cross is too high for Kaviedes.

14 mins: Klose tries to get on the end of Philipp Lahm’s teasing cross but Espinoza does enough to hold him off.

14 mins: And they do, as Mora punches clear and Edwin Tenorio wins a free-kick.

13 mins: Jorge Guagua can’t prevent a German corner on the left. Ecuador will need to defend this one better than the last.

12 mins: Schweinsteiger tries a one-two with Klose, but the return pass is wayward and Ecuador have possession.

11 mins: Frings breaks up an Ecuador attack with a good challenge on Kaviedes. Frings does a fine job for Germany, breaking up play and starting attacks for his side.

10 mins: Frings is fouled by Edwin Tenorio in midfield.

9 mins: Ballack tries to spring Podolski, but his pass is overhit and gathered by Christian Mora.

8 mins: Ecuador try to rebuild after concedingtheir first goal of the tournament with some patient passing at the back.

7 mins: Ballack takes, but his shot is blocked by an Ecuador wall that was nowhere near 10 yards back.

6 mins: Ballack wins a free-kick in a better position, and Germany can go for goal from this one, 25 yards out and just left of centre.

5 mins: Schweinsteiger is fouled by Marlon Ayovi.

4 mins: GOAL KLOSE – woeful defending from Ecuador. Schweinsteiger’s corner is too long, but Frings helps the ball back into the box. Again Ecuador fail to clear – Ulises De la Cruz the man responsible, and Schweinsteiger’s cutback is rifled into the botrtom corner from close range by Klose for his third goal of the tournament.

4 mins: Klose pressures Espinoza into conceding a corner.

3 mins: Geovanny Espinoza gets across to make a clearance as Torsten Frings looks to get on the end of Bastian Schweinsteiger’s pass.

2 mins: Germany go long towards Miroslav Klose, but he can’t bring the ball under control.

1 mins: Good start for Ecuador as Luis Valencia skips down the right and almost finds Ivan Kaviedes with his cross, but Jens Lehmann gathers.

1 mins: Ecuador get the game started.

Pre-Match: Chelsea’s new signing Michael Ballack keeps his place in Germany’s starting line-up for the final Group A match against joint leaders Ecuador. A potential yellow-card ban could not keep Jurgen Klinsmann from fielding his talismanic skipper, even though the losers of today’s clash could be in for a second-round meeting with England. Future Middlesbrough defender Robert Huth gets his World Cup debut at the expense of centre-back Christoph Metzelder, while striker Lukas Podolski remains in the starting XI despite a recent drop in form.

With Ecuador already through to the knockout stages, coach Luis Fernando Suarez rests several players, making five changes from the 3-0 victory over Costa Rica. In-form striker Carlos Tenario and former Southampton forward Agustin Delgado, who have scored four of Ecuadorดs five goals, find themselves on the bench, with Aston Villaดs Ulises de la Cruz starting in central defence.

Teams
Ecuador Germany
12 Cristian Mora Jens Lehmann 1
13 Paul Ambrossi Arne Friedrich 3
4 Ulises De la Cruz Robert Huth 4
17 Geovanny Espinoza Philip Lahm 16
2 Jorge Guagua Per Mertesacker 17
15 Marlon Ayovi Michael Ballack 13
8 Edison Mendez Torsten Frings 8
20 Edwin Tenorio Bernd Schneider 19
16 Luis Valencia Bastian Schweinsteiger 7
9 Felix Borja Miroslav Klose 11
10 Ivan Kaviedes Lukas Podolski 20
Substitutes
22 Damian Lanza Timo Hildebrand 23
1 Edwin Villafuerte Oliver Kahn 12
3 Ivan Hurtado Marcell Jansen 2
5 Jose Perlaza Christoph Metzelder 21
18 Neicer Reasco Jens Nowotny 6
14 Segundo Castillo Tim Borowski 18
7 Christian Lara Thomas Hitzlsperger 15
19 Luis Saritama Sebastian Kehl 5
6 Patricio Urrutia David Odonkor 22
23 Cristian Benitez Gerald Asamoah 14
11 Agustin Delgado Mike Hanke 9
21 Carlos Tenorio Oliver Neuville 10
Substitutions
C Benitez for F Borja (45) O Neuville for M Klose (66)
C Lara for L Valencia (63) T Borowski for T Frings (66)
P Urrutia for M Ayovi (68) G Asamoah for B Schneider (72)
Yellow Cards
Luis Valencia (51) Tim Borowski (75)
Categories: Entertainment
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