FIFA World Cup Group D focus: Germany
Official FFA Group D Preview of Australia's Opponents: Germany and how they got there.
How they did it…
Organisation, efficiency and hard-work are the buzzwords in describing how Low's team made it to South Africa. The Germans dropped points only in their home and away meetings with Finland.
Despite their formidable record in World Cup tournaments, the Germans have been widely overlooked by the bookies but last time they said that Germany went all the way to the final.
As former Leicester City and England great, turned BBC presenter, Gary Lineker once said "Write them off at your peril."
Liechtenstein 0-6 Germany The Germans got their qualification off to a bang when they defeated minnows Liechtenstein 6-0 in their own back yard. The goals for column could have been a factor if things were tight at the end of the campaign so Germany went all out to try and make sure they didn-t leave things to chance.
Finland 3-3 Germany Germany struggled against a dogged and awkward Finnish side that just wouldn-t lay down no matter what. It was only thanks to top scorer Klose that the three time world champions managed to avoid defeat. His hat-trick dragged his side level three times in a 3-3 draw in Helsinki.
Germany 2-1 Russia The two football heavyweights knew that this could be one of the group deciders and the winners would have one foot in South Africa. In Dortmund the Germans produced a first half display that reminded the crowd how well they can play when everything clicks. The home fans were treated to two first half goals from Podolski and Ballack which gave Germany the advantage but Premiership star Arshavin made sure the fans endured a nervy second half.
Germany 1-0 Wales Wales proved a tough, battling side and managed to hold on until the final 20 minutes when Trochowski grabbed the only goal of the game to save his side-s blushes. A well organised and slick Welsh side would-ve felt hard done by not to get anything out of the game but Germany-s unremarkable campaign moved slowly in the right direction.
Germany 4-0 Liechtenstein Another European minnow was a chance for Germany to improve their goals for column and an easy victory was started off in the fourth minute when Chelsea star Michael Ballack opened the scoring. It was only going one way after that and Jansen, Schweinsteiger and Podolski added the others.
Wales 0-2 Germany Ballack was again on the score sheet as Wales again put up a good show before an own goal put the game out of their reach early in the second half. Germany were again not too flashy but again picked up the three points and after six games they-d only dropped points against Finland.
Azerbaijan 0-2 Germany Another minnow was easily dispatched by the Germans and knowing that they faced Azerbaijan back to back in the group probably made them take it easy. Top scorer Klose and Schweinsteiger were again on the score sheet.
Germany 4-0 Azerbaijan The stars were again shining for Germany as Klose, Ballack and Podolski scored in a 4-0 win over Azerbaijan. They could now see the Finnish line but they did have two tough games ahead, a draw and a win would do but they weren-t the results you-d expect!
Russia 0-1 Germany With just one point separating the two sides, a tough trip to Moscow in front of over 70,000 fans saw Germany come away with the exact result they needed to qualify for the following year-s world cup. Klose-s goal made sure that Russia-s group challenge was put to bed and despite some resistance from the home side, Germany held on to qualify for the FIFA 2010 World Cup.
Germany 1-1 Finland Despite having already qualified for the finals, Germany put a strong side out. They did look a bit out of sorts though and the same side that managed to hold them to a 3-3 draw last time almost went one better in Hamburg. A last minute goal from Podolski managed to save the German side-s unbeaten qualification record.