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FOOTBALL

Germany ease past scrappy Kazakhstan

A three-goal barrage within nine first-half minutes set Germany up for a 4-1 home victory over a scrappy Kazakhstan Tuesday to remain in control of their 2014 World Cup qualifying group.

Germany ease past scrappy Kazakhstan
Photo: DPA

Germany’s Marco Reus hit the opener, Mario Götze doubled the advantage and

Ilkay Gündoğan made it 3-0 before Reus finished the scoring in the final

minute for the Germans, who also hit the woodwork six times in Nuremberg. Genrikh Shmidtgal scored the Kazakhs’ consolation.

“We dominated the game. Their goal was a bit unlucky but we invested a lot

in this game,” said Gündoğan. “It wasn’t easy against a team like Kazakhstan,

who defended so deep.”

Germany top Group C with 16 points from six matches, followed by Ireland with 10 points from five matches and Sweden with eight points from four qualifiers.

“Of course we let up a bit in the second half. We could have and maybe should have scored a couple more goals. But the game was already decided,” said Germany coach Joachim Löw, who once again used midfielder Götze up

front in the 4-2-3-1 system as striker Mario Gomez was still unavailable with

a thigh injury.

Germany dominated play from the very start but Kazakhstan had the first chance as Sergey Ostapenko’s header from a corner went just past the post on eight minutes.

The hosts continued their onslaught with Gündoğan hammering a volley against the post in the 21st minute. A minute later Goetze struck the upright.

Germany finally hit the back of the net in the 23rd minute as Reus turned in from the left side and struck home a low shot from 21 yards.

The hosts doubled the advantage just four minutes later as captain Philipp Lahm slipped through the left side of the Kazakh defence before crossing for Gotze to net.

The barrage was continued in the 32nd minute as Gundogan was the beneficiary of Mesut Özil’s cross to the near post, where the Dortmund midfielder hit home his first goal for Germany.

Gündoğan was close to another goal nine minutes later but his attempt came off the crossbar.

Kazakhstan increased the pressure on the ball after the break and trimmed the deficit to 3-1 in the 46th minute due to a mistake by Germany ‘keeper Manuel Neuer, who mis-controlled a backpass, allowing Shmidtgal to race onto the ball and blast into the empty goal.

“I must apologise to the whole team. If that didn’t happen, it would have been a different game,” said a sheepish Neuer.

Germany nearly finished the game for good in the 72nd minute only to see Kazakh ‘keeper Andrey Sidelnikov save shots by Özil and Thomas Müller, with Özil and Sami Khedira both hitting the upright as well.

Four minutes later Sidelnikov batted Mueller’s looping shot off his own framework while Kazakhstan joined the post party as Valerij Korobkin hit the outside of the upright off a set piece in the 79th minute.

Lahm saved another Kazakhstan goal in the 89th minute, stopping Shmidtgal’s shot on the line before Reus finalised a counter attack in the 90th minute for his second goal.

AFP/mry

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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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