Germany produced a scintillating display to inflict a humiliating 6-1 defeat on a beleaguered Ireland side in Dublin. The win maintains Germany’s perfect start to World Cup qualifying, while Ireland are now faced with the difficult task of regrouping before travelling to face the Faroe Islands on Tuesday.
Germany had to wait until the 30th minute to get the scoring started as Marco Reus got a brace before half-time. But from there the goals came thick and fast courtesy of a Mesut Ozil penalty, a clever finish from Miroslav Klose and two stunning strikers from Toni Kroos before Andy Keogh’s injury time consolation.
The result is sure to pile the pressure on Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, who had already been the subject of criticism for his side’s poor showing at Euro 2012.
Playing with Jonathan Walters in a lone striking role, Ireland actually began the match well—looking strong defensively and also proving to be a threat to the German rearguard on the counter attack. But things soon turned inexorably in Joachim Low’s side's favor.
The first chance of the contest fell the way of Germany as Thomas Muller failed to adjust himself to get a header on target from Reus’ cross.
And Germany soon started stepping up the tempo and became increasingly threatening, with Reus to the fore. The Borussia Dortmund star should have been awarded a penalty as John O’Shea took a poor touch in the box and allowed Reus to nip in before the Irish defender stepped across his man and brought him to the ground. To the surprise of many, including it appeared O’Shea, the referee booked the Reus for diving.
But Reus got his revenge just moments later. After Ireland failed to clear the ball as Marcel Schmelzer tried to take the ball down in the box, Reus stepped in and instantly created space before producing a fine finish high into the net past Keiren Westwood.
It was an even better finish from Reus that gave Germany a 2-0 lead in the 40th minute. Mesut Ozil deserves much of the plaudits as he burst clear from inside his own half and squared the ball to Jerome Boateng on the right who stroked the ball across for Reus allowing the young star to burst into the area before unleashing an unstoppable left-footed drive into the far corner.
With Ireland’s limited attacking threat, the match had been all-but settled by half-time.
The home side did at least again come out of the blocks with purpose, at the start of the second period, but again they were undone by a piece of poor defending. This time Darren O’Dea was the culprit for diving in from behind on Miroslav Klose as the striker looked to receive a pass with his back to goal. This time the referee had no doubt about pointing to the spot and Ozil stepped up and waited for Westwood to move before putting it to the opposite side.
Having been brought down for the penalty, Klose got his own name on the score sheet just three minutes later. The veteran striker got to a through ball just ahead of Westwood and evaded his challenge, but looked to have taken the ball too wide to attempt an effort on target. But the Lazio front man produced a precise low finish from the angle that somehow evaded an Irish attempt to clear on the line.
Things soon got even worse for Ireland as Germany continued to show the quality that runs throughout their squad.
After O’Shea’s header only reached Kroos on the edge of the box, the half-time substitute produced a first-time volley with impeccable technique to drill the ball past Westwood.
Ireland’s resistance had been firmly broken and Germany stroked the ball around at leisure for the remainder of the contest. The comfort that the match had now become for the visitors was emphasized as Reus was allowed ample time to take a touch outside the box before unleashing a fine drive into the back of the net from 25 yards out.
Keogh converted a free header from a corner in the second minute of injury time, but it did little to assuage the somber atmosphere in the Aviva Stadium.