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FOOTBALL

Germany’s young Turk Özil sinks Turkey

Germany's young playmaker Mesut Özil scored in his side's 3-0 win over Turkey in Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier to keep Joachim Löw's side top of Group A with three straight wins.

Germany's young Turk Özil sinks Turkey
Photo: DPA

With a maximum nine points, Germany are in firm control of Group A while Guus Hiddink-coached Turkey are second and suffered their first defeat of the qualifying campaign.

“The team showed they really wanted this and we have earned a deserved victory,” said Löw.

“I hadn’t expected to win by such a big amount, because it was always going to be a difficult game. For the Turks, the game was always going to be a matter of honour.”

Born and raised in Germany to Turkish parents, Özil, 21, was booed by boisterous Turkish fans who made up more than half of the 74,244-capacity Olympic Stadium crowd, but he silenced the jeers with a 79th-minute goal to seal the win.

His celebrations were muted, almost embarrassed, however, “out of respect for the land of my forefathers,” the midfielder said.

“Of course I was really happy. It was fantastic for me to score in this match. But I made the spontaneous decision not to overdo the celebrations,” he said.

He also managed to block out the boos from the Turkish crowd.

“I just shut it out and focused on the game. I just wanted to play the game and that’s what I did. The team and the German fans were a great support. “That makes me really happy.”

The hosts had taken the lead when veteran striker Miroslav Klose scored just before half-time and the Bayern Munich star slotted his second on 87 minutes.

Remarkably, Klose has yet to score a goal in the Bundesliga this season after seven matches, but he has now netted five times in three internationals already this season in Euro 2012 qualifiers.

The 32-year-old’s second just before the final whistle and was his 57th goal in his 104th international, passing Franz Beckenbauer’s mark of 103, to put him clear second behind Gerd Müller’s all-time record of 68 goals for Germany.

“I ask myself that every time: I have a bit of luck here which I am lacking with Bayern sometimes,” he said.

“Although I have now over-taken Franz Beckenbauer in terms of the number of international matches, but there will always be something special about the Beckenbauer name.”

There were only three changes from the team which beat Argentina 4-0 in the World Cup quarter-finals before finishing third and the Germans kept the Turks under constant pressure.

Germany made the brighter start with Klose and Özil having the best of the chances in the opening 15 minutes with both squandering clear chances to beat Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Demirel of Fenerbahce.

Besiktas’ Mehmet Aurelio was stretchered off after 22 minutes with what looked like a serious leg injury following a clash with Toni Kroos when the pair went for the ball and he made to make way for Stoke City’s Tuncay Sanli.

The opening goal came on 42 minutes and it was a Bayern Munich-inspired effort as defender Philipp Lahm swung in a cross from deep.

Munich’s Thomas Müller’s header was saved by Demirel, but clattered off the crossbar and Klose was on hand to header home after netting twice against Azerbaijan and once against Belgium in last month’s wins.

Turkey’s Eintracht Frankfurt striker Halil Altintop squandered a golden chance to put his side level on 53 minutes when he found himself one-on-one with Germany’s Manuel Neuer only to fire straight at the goalkeeper.

Likewise, Lukas Podolski wasted the perfect chance to make it 2-0 when he fired wide after the perfect pass from Ozil left him alone in front of goal on 69 minutes while Mueller fired at Demirel on 73 minutes.

Özil scored his third goal for his country with nearly ten minutes before Klose struck again to claim the three points.

In the next round of matches, Germany take on Kazahkstan in Astana on Tuesday bidding for their fourth win, while Turkey travel to Baku to play Azerbaijan.

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BERLIN

EXPLAINED: Berlin’s latest Covid rules

In response to rapidly rising Covid-19 infection rates, the Berlin Senate has introduced stricter rules, which came into force on Saturday, November 27th. Here's what you need to know.

A sign in front of a waxing studio in Berlin indicates the rule of the 2G system
A sign in front of a waxing studio indicates the rule of the 2G system with access only for fully vaccinated people and those who can show proof of recovery from Covid-19 as restrictions tighten in Berlin. STEFANIE LOOS / AFP

The Senate agreed on the tougher restrictions on Tuesday, November 23rd with the goal of reducing contacts and mobility, according to State Secretary of Health Martin Matz (SPD).

He explained after the meeting that these measures should slow the increase in Covid-19 infection rates, which was important as “the situation had, unfortunately, deteriorated over the past weeks”, according to media reports.

READ ALSO: Tougher Covid measures needed to stop 100,000 more deaths, warns top German virologist

Essentially, the new rules exclude from much of public life anyone who cannot show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19. You’ll find more details of how different sectors are affected below.

Shops
If you haven’t been vaccinated or recovered (2G – geimpft (vaccinated) or genesen (recovered)) from Covid-19, then you can only go into shops for essential supplies, i.e. food shopping in supermarkets or to drugstores and pharmacies.

Many – but not all – of the rules for shopping are the same as those passed in the neighbouring state of Brandenburg in order to avoid promoting ‘shopping tourism’ with different restrictions in different states.

Leisure
2G applies here, too, as well as the requirement to wear a mask with most places now no longer accepting a negative test for entry. Only minors are exempt from this requirement.

Sport, culture, clubs
Indoor sports halls will off-limits to anyone who hasn’t  been vaccinated or can’t show proof of recovery from Covid-19. 2G is also in force for cultural events, such as plays and concerts, where there’s also a requirement to wear a mask. 

In places where mask-wearing isn’t possible, such as dance clubs, then a negative test and social distancing are required (capacity is capped at 50 percent of the maximum).

Restaurants, bars, pubs (indoors)
You have to wear a mask in all of these places when you come in, leave or move around. You can only take your mask off while you’re sat down. 2G rules also apply here.

Hotels and other types of accommodation 
Restrictions are tougher here, too, with 2G now in force. This means that unvaccinated people can no longer get a room, even if they have a negative test.

Hairdressers
For close-contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, it’s up to the service providers themselves to decide whether they require customers to wear masks or a negative test.

Football matches and other large-scale events
Rules have changed here, too. From December 1st, capacity will be limited to 5,000 people plus 50 percent of the total potential stadium or arena capacity. And only those who’ve been vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 will be allowed in. Masks are also compulsory.

For the Olympic Stadium, this means capacity will be capped at 42,000 spectators and 16,000 for the Alte Försterei stadium. 

Transport
3G rules – ie vaccinated, recovered or a negative test – still apply on the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams and buses in Berlin. It was not possible to tighten restrictions, Matz said, as the regulations were issued at national level.

According to the German Act on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, people have to wear a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask  on public transport.

Christmas markets
The Senate currently has no plans to cancel the capital’s Christmas markets, some of which have been open since Monday. 

According to Matz, 2G rules apply and wearing a mask is compulsory.

Schools and day-care
Pupils will still have to take Covid tests three times a week and, in classes where there are at least two children who test positive in the rapid antigen tests, then tests should be carried out daily for a week.  

Unlike in Brandenburg, there are currently no plans to move away from face-to-face teaching. The child-friendly ‘lollipop’ Covid tests will be made compulsory in day-care centres and parents will be required to confirm that the tests have been carried out. Day-care staff have to document the results.

What about vaccination centres?
Berlin wants to expand these and set up new ones, according to Matz. A new vaccination centre should open in the Ring centre at the end of the week and 50 soldiers from the German army have been helping at the vaccination centre at the Exhibition Centre each day since last week.

The capacity in the new vaccination centre in the Lindencenter in Lichtenberg is expected to be doubled. There are also additional vaccination appointments so that people can get their jabs more quickly. Currently, all appointments are fully booked well into the new year.

 

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