The Swiss Oliver Neuville who speaks Italian better than German was the Nationalmannschaft’s hero with his injury time winner over a vastly improved Poland which leaves Germany needing just 1 point to ensure qualification. Germany started well, vreating numerous chances which their forwards failed to put away. Indeed, both Klose and Podolski were guilty of missing the unmissable in the first half. Klose was totally unmarked yet put his free header wide from 2 metres out and Podolski somehow managed to put his shot wide from even closer. The Poles always looked dangerous on the break, but in a much better defensive performance, the Germans managed to keep them at bay.
Even following the sending off of Sobolewski, Germany seemed to be unable to capitalise on their superiority. In a comical sequence, Klose headed Lahm’s cross against the bar and Ballack following up smashed his shot against a near identical spot on the crossbar with just a couple of minutes left. However, it was Klinsmann’s substitutes which helped him out. Surprise squad inclusion David Odonkor crossed from the right and Neuville, sliding in at the near post, made no mistake.
Germany still look nowhere near as strong as the Czechs, Argentineans, Ivorians etc and they will be keen to avoid England in the last 16, especially if Rooney is able to play. The prospect should provide them with sufficient motivation to want to beat Ecuador.