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FOOTBALL

Germany crush Aussies in World Cup opener

Three-time champions Germany fired off a warning to World Cup challengers with a comprehensive 4-0 dismantling of Australia in their opening Group D match in Durban Sunday.

Germany crush Aussies in World Cup opener
Photo: DPA

The Germans totally dominated the Socceroos, with captain Philipp Lahm and rising stars Mesut Özil and Thomas Müller running Australian veterans Scott Chipperfield and Craig Moore ragged down the right wing.

Goals from Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose, Müller and Brazil-born striker Cacau were just rewards for a team which also had a hatful of other scoring opportunities.

The victory leaves Germany atop of Group D, Ghana having beaten Serbia 1-0 in the day’s other game.

Podolski opened the scoring in the ninth minute, the happy recipient of a text-book training ground move executed to clinical perfection.

After Özil had played in Müller, the Bayern Munich right winger cut the ball back across the face of the goal for Podolski to hammer home left-footed, with Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer getting a hand on it.

Klose, top scorer in the 2006 World Cup, made it 2-0 in the 27th minute with a well-taken goal – and his 11th in World Cup finals – rising between Australian captain Lucas Neill and Schwarzer to head powerfully home from a Lahm cross from the right.

“Everything worked well and it is important that things went well in the first game,” Klose said. “We have earned some respect. You could see that we had fun playing football out there. I know what I can do. I feel great.”

Germany coach Joachim Löw was delighted too.

“I am very happy about the performance, we showed some quick passing and good speed,” he said.

The Socceroos then paid a heavy price for the dismissal of Tim Cahill, shown a straight red card in the 56th minute by Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez for a very clumsy challenge on Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Two goals in a matter of minutes from Müller (67) and Cacau (70), on as a replacement for Klose, sealed Australia’s dismal start to their third World Cup campaign.

Müller, who started the season in Bayern Munich’s reserves, looked like he’d overrun a Podolski through-ball it but he dragged it back and shot accurately past Schwarzer, in off the post.

With the Australian defence in disarray, Caucau then had a simple tuck-in from another inch-perfect pass into the box by the 21-year-old Özil.

It was Australia who had the first real chance of the game, Lahm clearing a close-range effort by Richard Garcia in the fourth minute.

And for all their fine attacking instincts, Germany did at times look slow to close down at the back, allowing time and space for both Garcia and replacement Brett Holman to have shots on target.

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FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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