Klose shines as Germany hammer Holland

Germany score first win over the Dutch since 1996

Veteran striker Miroslav Klose rolled back the years with a goal and two assists on Tuesday as Germany hammered Euro 2012 rivals Holland 3-0 in a friendly in Hamburg.

The 33-year-old provided the final pass for Thomas Mueller to give the hosts an early lead against the World Cup finalists before Klose scored his 63rd goal for Germany leaving him just five short of Gerd Mueller's all-time record.

The Lazio striker then set up Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil to enjoy a simple tap in on 66 minutes as Germany laid down a marker for June's Euro 2012 over their neighbours.

"The whole team made the match a lot of fun to play in," said Ozil.

"We really wanted to win the game and the Dutch had no chance.

"We have shown that this young team has lots of potential and can compete for the Euro 2012 title."

Although they were without injured vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger and captain Philipp Lahm, who was rested, Germany were not lacking in leadership with Klose and Ozil orchestrating the attack.

This was Germany's first win over the Dutch since 1996 and was revenge for their 2-1 semi-final defeat in the 1988 European Championships when Marco van Basten's late winner broke German hearts here in Hamburg.

At least one Dutch flag here, bearing the date 21-06-88, eluded to that defeat.

Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk had made four changes to the side which was held to a goalless draw by Switzerland on Friday in Amsterdam.

Robin van Persie was replaced by striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar up front, while Kevin Strootman came in for thigh injury-victim Rafael van der Vaart in midfield.

Right-back Khalid Gregory van der Wiel took over from Khalid Boulahrouz while AC Milan's Mark van Bommel replaced Nigel de Jong in midfield.

"That was of course an embarrassing defeat for us, to lose like this against our neighbours," admitted Van Marwijk.

"But better we lose like this now than at Euro 2012.

"Germany were very strong on the counter-attack, but we can also play a bit of football.

"Some of our top players were missing, we'd have been better if they had played, but that takes nothing away from the Germans."

Germany coach Joachim Loew abandoned the experimental 3-4-1-2 formation from Friday's 3-3 draw with the Ukraine in Kiev for the familiar 4-2-3-1 with Klose, as captain, playing as the lone striker and Mario Gomez on the bench.

This was Loew's 75th match as coach and his 52nd win as Germany closed the year with a second major scalp after also beating Brazil in a friendly in August and finished their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with 10 wins from 10.

"We can be very satisfied, not only with the game, but with the whole year," said Loew.
"The Dutch were overwhelmed, especially the midfield and our attack worked well. The Dutch hardly ever looked dangerous."

Klose, making his 113th appearance, showed the knee injury, which kept him out of Friday's draw in Kiev, was behind him with his first shot in the first minute, then provided the pass for the first goal.

A Toni Kroos cross from the wing was squared by Klose for Mueller to come onto the ball at pace to put Germany ahead on 15 minutes and his near-post shot gave Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg no chance.

The pair combined again when a superb run from Mueller ended with a deft pass to Ozil and with plenty of space, the Real Madrid star supplied a pin-point cross for Klose to head home on 26 minutes.

The Dutch barely had a look in during the first 45 minutes and both Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder and Klose picked up first-half bookings.

Klose then produced his second assist of the game when Mueller's clever pass split the Dutch defence and he drew Stekelenburg for Ozil to tap the ball into an empty net and wrap up the win.
 

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