Germany down Austria to qualify
Germany qualified in style for UEFA EURO 2012 with an emphatic 6-2 win over Austria, initially racing into a three-goal lead within 28 minutes with Miroslav Klose, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski all on target. Marko Arnautovic pulled a goal back for Austria just before the break, but Ozil made it four just after the interval.
Martin Harnik again reduced the arrears, but further goals from Andre Schurrle and Mario Gotze completed the rout to book Germany's place in Poland and Ukraine.
Germany cruised to an eighth-minute lead with Klose claiming the goal after getting the slightest of touches to Ozil's shot from 16 yards out. The Lazio striker's deflection was not decisive as Ozil's shot was going to beat Christian Gratzei in the Austria goal anyway, but he was nevertheless glad to claim his 62nd international goal, now only six short of equalling Gerd Muller's German record.
He missed the chance to edge even closer to Muller in the 17th minute when he lifted his shot high over the crossbar from a tight angle. There was no doubt about who would claim Germany's second goal, though, as Ozil took the ball off Klose on the edge of the penalty area, nudged it past Gratzei and then swept it into the unguarded goal.
Five minutes later, Podolski made it three. Holger Badstuber ventured forward from the centre of the defence and exchanged passes with Podolski before feeding the Cologne striker, whose venomous shot beat Gratzei's feeble attempt to save with his foot.
Badstuber was then at fault at the other end as he lost Arnautovic, who pulled a goal back for Austria with a determined header from Florian Klein's cross.
Not even two minutes were on the clock in the second half when Ozil added his second and Germany's fourth. A long kick out of the Germany defence following an Austria free-kick was headed on by Thomas Muller into the path of the Real Madrid midfielder, who held off Christian Fuchs and then got lucky with his shot deflecting off the toe of the Schalke defender to curl past the Austrian goalkeeper.
Stuttgart forward Harnik scored another consolation for Austria in the 51st minute when he found a hole in the Germany defence to latch onto Arnautivoc's overhead pass and volley past Neuer from just inside the penalty area.
However, Schurrle ended any thoughts Austria had of a recovery in the 84th minute when he pounced on a loose ball inside the area to side-foot it in from near the penalty spot. There was even time for Gotze to complete a comprehensive victory for Germany with practically his only touch of the game after coming on as a late substitute to turn Muller's pass in off the post.