Veteran striker Mirolsav Klose rescued Germany with a hat-trick to salvage a late 3-3 draw against Finland in 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying.
UEFA EURO 2008 finalists Germany were looking down the barrel of a defeat orchestrated by Finland's former Liverpool forward Daniel Sjolund, who had earlier put his side 3-2 ahead early in the second-half. Despite recent criticism in the German press for his lack of goals for Bayern Munich, 30-year-old Klose silenced his critics with three goals to give Germany a point in their quest to reach the next World Cup in South Africa.
"That is football, I never let my head
drop, I knew what I can do. If I kept working, I knew it would work
itself out," said Klose who was winning his 84th cap.
But there can be no doubt Klose's goals got Germany off the hook. "," said Finland striker Mikael Forssell.
Germany came to Helsinki as odds on favourites having beaten Liechtenstein 6-0 last Saturday in their opening qualifier and with 15 wins in their previous 20 matches against Finland - with their only defeat coming way back in 1923.
The Finns, ranked 42nd in the world, were making their debut in the Group 4 qualifiers under new coach Englishman Stuart Baxter at the capital's Olympic Stadium. Confounding expectations, the home side got off to a flying start when they took the lead after 32 minutes, Malmo striker Jonatan Johansson capitalising on a mistake in the German defence and firing home.
Germany responded quickly when Klose held off a challenge from Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia and fired home just six minutes later. However, Finland reclaimed the lead with half-time approaching when midfielder Mika Vayrynen scored a superb goal after converting an accurate cross from Sjolund.
Just 90 seconds later, Klose struck again when he bulleted a header at Finland goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and although the Bolton Wanderers man parried the shot, the Bayern striker followed up to make it 2-2 at half-time.After the break, Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke made a fine save but the home side took the lead for the third time as the German defence fell apart as Sjolund was allowed a free header in the 53rd minute.
With Germany coach Joachim Low incensed on the sidelines at his side's lax defending, Baxter urged his side forward. In a last effort, Low threw on a third striker in Stuttgart's Mario Gomez, and the move paid off. It was Gomez who created the pressure in defence for Klose to finally stab the ball home on 83 minutes and the Bayern Munich striker nearly grabbed a fourth as Germany continued to threaten in the game's dying minutes.