Germany cruise against South Africa
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Mario Gomez and Mesut Oezil scored either side of half-time to give Germany a comfortable 2-0 friendly win over FIFA World Cup™ hosts South Africa.

With Germany facing Azerbaijan in Hanover in a FIFA World Cup qualifier on Wednesday, coach Joachim Low got the dominance he had demanded in the game's build-up with his side rarely troubled by Bafana Bafana. Lone striker Gomez scored his 11th international goal midway through the first-half before Oezil showed great composure to score his first goal for Germany.

Low introduced a different attacking system, with Oezil and Marko Marin on the flanks and Gomez in the centre. Before kick-off, Germany stalwart Bernd Schneider was honoured to mark his contribution to the national team after been forced to retire earlier this year with a back injury, having won 81 caps for his country.

However, Germany's next generation showed their talent with 20-year-old Marin impressing as he won his seventh cap. The Werder Bremen play-maker made the first significant inroad into the South African defence just before Bayern Munich striker Gomez beat goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez on 37 minutes.

Fernandez, who plays for German second division side Arminia Bielefeld, was powerless to stop Gomez's shot after Oezil and captain Michael Ballack combined to set up the Bayern striker. South Africa responded immediately and forced Rene Adler into an excellent save.

Low opted to switch his attack after the break as Bayern striker Miroslav Klose came on to win his 90th cap alongside Cologne's Lukas Podolski. Oezil, who made his first start for Germany, hit the second when Klose found the Bremen midfielder with a diagonal pass and Oezil was ice-cool with his finishing on 77 minutes to seal the win.

We created many good chances and were much more fluid in our football than last time,
German coach Joachim Low.

"We created many good chances and were much more fluid in our football than last time," said Loew. "We gave some young players a chance, in particular Mesut brought a lot of creativity to our game. He has an eye for finding players in a better position and has lots of potential."

With South Africa set to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, their Brazilian coach Joel Santana said the Bafana Bafana had benefited from the experience against their opponents ranked fourth in the world. "It was a very good match for us," he said. "The South African team were against one of the strongest who are ranked in the top four.

"The game gave us exactly what we wanted: international experience. We gave a good account of ourselves and I am happy with the performance."

Loew introduced a different attacking system with Oezil and 20-year-old Marko Marin on the flanks as Gomez acted as the single centre-forward. "The coach wanted to change some things and we used an alternative system, which worked very well," said captain Michael Ballack.

"Mesut Oezil played outstandingly well, but we worked hard in defence as well and were compact at the back. We showed composure and it was a good performance."

Before kick-off, Germany stalwart Bernd Schneider was honoured to mark his contribution to the national team after been forced to retire earlier this year with a back injury having won 81 caps for his country - including being part of the German side that reached the 2002 FIFA World Cup final where they lost to Brazil.

But Germany's next generation who showed their talent with one eye on next month's crucial FIFA World Cup qualification match against Russia in Moscow on 10 October which will decide the winners of Group 4.

Since succeeding Jurgen Klinsmann as national coach in August 2006, Loew has now registered 29 wins, six losses and six draws as well as having reached the final of UEFA Euro 2008 when his team lost 1-0 to Spain in Vienna last June.