Improved Germany ease past Israel
Friday, 01 June 2012 01:59

Germany rounded off their preparations for UEFA EURO 2012 in the best possible manner, recording a 2-0 win against Israel with a much improved performance.

Shorn of his FC Bayern München contigent, Joachim Löw watched his side struggle in their last outing when they fell to a 5-3 defeat by Switzerland. There were no such concerns here, however, as Mario Gomez broke the deadlock five minutes before half-time and André Schürrle added a deserved 82nd-minute second.

Germany controlled possession from the start, but could not find the target - Toni Kroos missed with a warning shot from range early on, before Jérôme Boateng's shot struck the upright on 19 minutes. When Sami Khedira squandered a headed chance with six minutes left in the half, the first 45 seemed destined to end goalless. But as the crowd became restless, Gomez popped up to put their minds at rest, driving the ball into the roof of the net after brilliantly controlling Thomas Müller's flick.

After the interval, Gil Vermouth forced Manuel Neuer into a good parry, before a fluid Germany ran the show. First a low Mesut Özil drive missed the far post, then Lukas Podolski twice failed to capitalise on two close-range chances. Schürrle replaced the profligate Podolski on 67 minutes and showed the new Arsenal FC man the way, collecting in space and thundering a right-footed effort into the top-left corner from outside the area.

That was a second goal in as many games for the Bayer 04 Leverkusen forward, who now has seven goals from 14 internationals. It was also an emphatic way for Germany to finish their build-up ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 campaign, which kicks off against Portugal in Group B on 13 June.

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