Germany have taken a big step towards qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Joachim Löw saw his team hold on to top spot in Group C as Germany beat Austria 3-0 in Munich. Bayer 04 pro Sidney Sam stayed on the bench .
Michael Ballack, former captain of Germany, received an official farewell from the German Football Association (DFB) before the match. DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach presented Ballack with huge bunch of flowers and also honoured current skipper Philipp Lahm who clocked up a century of appearances for Germany on Friday.
Miroslav Klose put Germany ahead on 33 minutes with Thomas Müller providing the assist. That was goal number 68 for his country and the 35-year-old is now level with Gerd Müller. Toni Kroos doubled the lead six minutes into the second half with a 51 minutes with a well-placed strike. And Mesut Özil put Thomas Müller through to seal a 3-0 victory.
Germany, with Bayer 04 midfielder Lars Bender out injured, now head Group C with 19 points, five clear of second-placed Sweden. Germany are back in action on Tuesday against the Faroe Islands.
Leno wins with Germany U21s
The Germany U21s under coach Horst Hrubesch also secured a convincing 3-0 win their first European Championship qualifier. Bernd Leno had a very quiet night in goal for Germany.
Toprak and Turkey on course
Ömer Toprak and Turkey are still in the running for a World Cup slot in the 5-0 victory over Andorra. The Werkself central defender played for the full 90 minutes. Turkey are still fourth in Group D on ten points but are just one point behind Hungary in third place three adrift from second-placed Rumania.
Spahic stays top with Bosnia Herzegovina
Emir Spahic captained Bosnia Herzegovina and also played the whole game. Despite losing 1-0 to Slovakia they remain top of Group G.
Poor outlook for Boenisch and Poland
Sebastian Boenisch was in the Poland line-up that only managed to draw 1-1 with Montenegro. The Bayer 04 defender came off the bench on 27 minutes. Poland will find it hard to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil as they are fourth on ten points five behind England and Montenegro.
Wins for Perrey, Cacutalua and Öztunali
Nico Perrey and Malcolm Cacutalua were winners with the Germany U20s on Friday night. The two Bayer 04 U23 players were in coach Frank Wormuth’s squad that beat Poland 2-0. Cacutalua played for 45 minutes and Perrey was on the bench.
Levin Öztunali also had a successful night. The Werkself midfielder was in the Germany U19 side that ran out 6-1 winners in a friendly against the Netherlands U19s. Öztunali, substituted on 76 minutes, netted the second goal for Germany.