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10.07.2006

German victory in international football match

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The German National team played another international friendly and the performance made fans happy. With two long-range goals, a 10-man Germany got a 2-0 win over Georgia on Saturday. Bastian Schweinsteiger slammed home a shot from 25 metres in the 24th minutes - having been set up captain Michael Ballack - to give Germany the lead.

A really ugly kick against Georgia defender Zurab Khizanishvili resulted in Lukas Podolski being sent off early in the second half.

However, we must notice that just 15 minutes later Georgia were also reduced to 10-men as Austrain referee Gerald Lehner dismissed Khizanishvili for a second bookable offence.

Bayern Munich's Schweinsteiger then returned the favour for Ballack, finding his captain open on the left for a 22-metre blast to double their lead.

More often than not Germany looked comfortable but struggled in defence at times and were lucky that Georgia had two goals disallowed for offside.

"It was an entertaining match but we naturally made a number of mistakes," said Loew, who fielded two young newcomers in his team - Piotr Trochowski of Hamburg SV and Werder Bremen's Clemens Fritz - and a total of seven second-string players.

Loew rested regulars plaeyrs Miroslav Klose, Philipp Lahm, Bernd Schneider, Torsten Frings and goalkeeper Jens Lehmann for the Slovakia match while defenders Per Mertesacker and Christoph Metzelder were left out of the squad due to injuries.

"We had to integrate a lot of younger players going into their first match and had some problems in coordination," Loew said.

"In fact, we wanted to give some people a chance to show what they can do. We were a bit lucky that we kept a clean sheet."

Right after Schweinsteiger's goal, Germany shifted down a gear and were lucky that Otar Martsvaladze's header from a free kick in first-half stoppage time was disallowed in a close offside call. And Germany came back to life only after Podolski was sent off.

"I believe that we played well against a very good Germany team," said Georgia's German coach Klaus Toppmoeller.

"We're moving in the right direction. We wanted to show we can compete with the best squads and I think we accomplished that." he concluded with a smile.