Football

Germans too strong for battling Wales

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Germany cruised to a 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over a brave, if outclassed, Wales.

Germany went ahead after 11 minutes with a 30-yarder from their captain Michael Ballack, with the second being an unlucky own goal early in the second period from defender Ashley Williams.

Wales fought hard with Robert Earnshaw twice going close, but the hosts were never really in it as a contest.

Germany did not need any help from the officials but that was precisely what happened after just 11 minutes when Ballack unleashed a swerving drive from 30 yards that crashed into the top corner past Wayne Hennessey.

However, that came from Germany being allowed to take a throw on the left that was clearly a Wales ball. Neither linesman or referee Terje Hauge reacted and the ball was instantly fed to the Chelsea man to score.

To their credit, Wales were running and fighting for every ball as the Germans' passing game threatened to overrun them.

And they were getting forward. Aaron Ramsey, 18, up against Ballack in midfield, was looking for space and trying to keep possession of the ball and had two efforts on goal charged down on the edge of the box.

After an encouraging first half Wales did not need a stroke of bad luck just three minutes into the second period. But that is what happened.

James Collins had held up Mario Gomez on the right and looked to have run the ball out but the Stuttgart striker kept the ball in.

His low cross to the near post was then stabbed past Hennessey by Williams' out-stretched boot for Germany's second.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Ashley Williams
Aaron Ramsey
Football
Ashley Williams
Chelsea
Premier League
Robert Earnshaw
Wayne Hennessey
James Collins
Michael Ballack
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