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Germany and Sweden in eight-goal thriller again

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Germany and Sweden in eight-goal thriller again
Photo: DPA
08:43 CEST+02:00
Chelsea's Andre Schürrle claimed a second-half hat trick as Germany came from two goals down to seal a 5-3 win away to Sweden in Tuesday's final World Cup qualifier.

Germany had already qualified for Brazil 2014 as Group C winners while Sweden as runners-up now face a two-legged play-off next month.

But there was far more than just pride at stake at Stockholm's Friends Arena with Germany smarting from their 4-4 draw in Berlin last October after

throwing away a 4-0 lead.

Having last lost either a European Championships or World Cup qualifier back in October 2007, Germany were heading for a rare defeat until scoring

four second-half goals.

"It's annoying to concede three goals, but we have once again shown what power we have when we are going forward," beamed man-of-the-match Schürrle clutching the match ball.That would make it hard for any team in the world."

Joachim Löw's Germany extended their unbeaten run to 32 qualification matches, but captain Philipp Lahm was not impressed. "We have a bit of work to do, not only in defence, but also in attack," said the Bayern Munich star.

Even without suspended superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden raced into the lead with goals from Tobias Hysen and Alexander Kacaniklic before Arsenal's Mesut Özil pulled one back just before the break.

The Germans then ran riot in the second-half with Bayern Munich's Mario Götze coming on to equalize before Schürrle hat-trick, while Hysen pulled

one back for the Swedes.

Sweden capitalized on some poor German defending after just six minutes when a great pass from Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson found Hysen in space and he fired past Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

The Germans poured forward to try and get back on level terms, but Sweden doubled their lead with half-time beckoning.

Fulham's Alexander Kacaniklic sprinted onto Kim Källström's through ball and fired home despite the attention of Germany defender Mats Hummels with 42

minutes gone.

Both goals could be blamed on Germany's back four, but the origins came when the ball was first lost in midfield.

Arsenal's Özil celebrated his 25th birthday by pulling a crucial goal back for Germany when he rifled home his shot from the edge of the area on the stroke of halftime.

Germany coach Löw brought on Götze for the second-half for right-winger Thomas Müller and the Bayern Munich star immediately made a difference.

Schürrle fed Özil after some good work on the left wing, then the Arsenal star squared for Götze to loop his shot around Sweden goalkeeper Johan Wiland

on 53 minutes to equalize.

Germany took the lead for the first time when Schürrle pounced on a poor pass from Sweden defender Per Nilsson and although the Nuremberg man scrambled

back, he lost his footing allowing the Chelsea star to fire home on 57 minutes.

Götze set up Schürrle to fire home on 66 minutes to make it 4-2 to the Germans, but Sweden dug deep as Hysson claimed his second goal as he beat the

offside trap to volley home Larsson's free-kick on 69 minutes.

There was to be no denying Schürrle, who claimed his first hat-trick for Germany by hitting the top right-hand corner of the goal 11 minutes from time

to dismiss any ideas of a Sweden fightback.

It means Germany finish their World Cup qualifying campaign undefeated with nine wins from ten games and an eight-point lead over Sweden at the top of Group C.

READ MORE: Football hooliganism falls in top leagues

AFP/tsb

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