Euro 2012 qualifying: Azerbaijan 1 Germany 3

Mario Gomez got on the scoresheet again as Germany romped to a 3-1 win at Azerbaijan in their Euro 2012 Group A qualifier on Tuesday.Gomez scored for the fourth successive international as Germany made it seven wins from seven qualifiers, all but sealing their place in next year’s finals.

Mesut Oezil scored and handed Gomez his goal on a platter before Azerbaijan got back into the contest with a late strike from Murad Huseynov.

But their momentum was quickly snuffed out by Andre Schurrle, whose injury-time sealer surely leaves Azerbaijan coach Berti Vogts in the firing line.

Vogts, who has led the national side to just two victories in three years, was pelted with a toilet roll and a coffee pot by irate journalists in a pre-match press conference and is widely tipped to be sacked.

Germany started slowly and could have been 1-0 down after the 10th minute following a cheap turnover in their half, but Vugar Nadirov’s attempt bounced off the crossbar.

But the visitors worked themselves into the match and found the net on the half hour through Oezil.

The Real Madrid playmaker was picked out by Benedikt Howedes’ cut-back and made Azerbaijan goalkeeper Kamran Agayev pay for not protecting his far post, threading a sublime finish through traffic.

Germany were in total control as the half wore on and added a second in the 41st minute in a move started by Holger Badstuber.

The Bayern Munich midfielder released Oezil into space with a sublime through ball from the circle, and Oezil raced in to the area and squared the ball past a flat-footed Agayev to Gomez for the simplest of finishes.

Two minutes from injury time Azerbaijan got a goal against the run of play through substitute striker Huseynov.

Germany, having switched off early, twice botched their clearance of a whipped-in cross and allowed the ball to spill to Huseynov at the six-yard box for a neat half-volley under Manuel Neuer.

But the visitors would have the final say through substitute Schurrle, who was on hand to clatter a rebound of Gomez’s blocked shot high into the net in stoppage time.

Germany now hold a 10-point lead in Group A with 21 points from seven games. Belgium are second with 11 points and Turkey third with 10 and a game in hand.

 


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