Ireland lose as Germany reach finals

Germany 3 Republic of Ireland 0

Germany qualified for next summer's FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil with a three goal win in Cologne what was Ireland 500th senior international match.

Goals from Sami Khedira, André Schürrle and Mesut Özil delivered victory for the Germans and ensured to a debut defeat for Ireland's caretaker manager Noel King.

The Germans dominated the game with 75 per cent possession and it took a string of superb saves from the 3 Man of the Match, goalkeeper David Ford, to ensure that Joachim Loew's side didn't hit Ireland for six like they did in Dublin last year.

King delayed naming his side until just before kick-off and it was a much changed team from that fielded by Giovanni Trapattoni in his final game against Austria last month.

With Richard Dunne and John O'Shea suspended the back four was made up of captain for the night Seamus Coleman, Ciaran Clarke, Damien Delaney and Stephen Kelly with Glenn Whelan, Darron Gibson, James McCarthy, Marc Wilson and Kevin Doyle in a five-man midfield and Anthony Stokes as the lone striker after skipper Robbie Keane was ruled out with an ankle injury picked up in training during the week..

Germany had the first chance of the match after seven minutes but Mesut Özil's attempt to curl the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box ended with ball drifting well wide while at the other end Kevin Doyle's shot was deflected wide for a corner.

The Germans opened the scoring after 12 minutes when Anthony Stokes lost possession as the Irish tried to clear their lines and Philip Lahm played the ball to Khedira whose shot from 22 yards took a wicked delfection off Ciaran Clarke as he attempted to block and completely wrong-footed the already committed David Forde.

The Germans dominated the rest of the half stringing together lengthy passing movements that occasionally ended with goalscoring opportunities and Ireland keeper Forde produced a series of top drawer saves to keep them at bay.

In the 34th minute one particularly patient, lengthy and probing movement ended with a cross to the back post by Lahm which was met by the head of Schurrle but Forde produced a brilliant save and he then followed that up a few minutes later a superb left handed stop to tip over a rising shot from Thomas Muller.

Further saves from shots by Schurrle and Muller followed before Ireland almost snatched an equaliser at the end of the first half. A free-kick by Darron Gibosn found Glenn Whelan wide on the left. His deep cross was met by the head of Ciaran Clark who sent a looping header that came off the crossbar and Stokes completely missed the rebound.

Ireland had three more chance to draw level at the start of the second half when Stokes fired in a low drive that flashed past Neur's right hand post and a minute later another shot from outside the box was tipped over for a corner by the Germany keeper.

Then a brilliant long ball out of defence by Glenn Whelan wasn't cleared to safety by Neur, who had ventured some 15 yards out of his area, but Stokes, despite being wide on the left touchline, chose the wrong option and hit his long range goal attempt well over instead of seeking out the supporting James McCarthy in the box.

Ireland paid the penalty for failing to capitalise on those four chances either side of half-time when the Germans stretched their lead in the 58th minute as an attempt to spring the offside trap failed when Toni Kroos chipped a ball into the box and Schurrle turned and slipped the ball past the out-rushing Forde.

Having done so much to keep the score down during the first half, the Irish goalkeeper continued to perform heroics in the second and, on the hour mark, he went full stretch to fingertip a sizzler from Bastian Schweinsteiger. He followed that up with a super block to deny Toni Muller at the back post and then went full stretch again to keep out

Ireland almost pulled a goal back on 73 minutes when, an excellent passage of Irish play, ended with a Stokes shot which was parried by Nuer and Doyle's follow up from the rebound was cleared off the line by Marcell Jansen.

Forde continue to deny the Germans, saving from Khedira and then Jerome Boateng smacked a long range shot off the Irish crossbar before Ireland created a couple of late chances as Stokes shot against Nuer after a great run by Coleman and then Clarke saw his goalbound header pushed away by the keeper.

But the Germans had the last word when a quick break after defending against an Irish corner saw Kroos release Ozil and the Arsenal midfielder showed all his class with a deft flick over the advancing Forde for the third and final goal of the game.

Ireland now head back to Dublin for their final qualifying game against Kazakstan at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night (7.45pm).

Germany: Manuel Neuer (GK), Marcell Jansen, Sami Khedira (Max Kruse 82) (, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Özil, André Schürrle (Mario Götze 85), Thomas Müller (Sidney Sam 88), Philipp Lahm (C), Per Mertesacker, Toni Kroos, Jérôme Boateng

Republic of Ireland: David Forde (GK); Seamus Coleman (C), Damien Delaney, Stephen Kelly, Ciaran Clark, Glenn Whelan, Darron Gibson, James McCarthy, Marc Wilson, Kevin Doyle, Anthony



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