Klose closes on record as Germans crush Dutch
HAMBURG (Reuters) - Miroslav Klose chalked up his 63rd international goal as Germany trounced Netherlands 3-0 in a friendly on Tuesday involving two of the favourites for next year's European Championship finals.
The 2010 World Cup runners-up were sunk by goals from Klose, Thomas Mueller and Mesut Ozil in front of a sellout crowd of 51,500 on a chilly night in the German port city.
Mueller put Germany, who finished third at the World Cup, in front after a lightning fast attack in the 15th minute that epitomised the home side's domination of the first half.
Toni Kroos sent in a high cross to Klose and he tapped the ball for Mueller to beat goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg with a shot into the corner of the net.
Klose added a second 11 minutes later, latching on to a centre from Ozil to head powerfully home.
The striker is now five goals short of Gerd Mueller's record tally of 68 for Germany.
Ozil made it 3-0 in the 66th minute at the end of another scintillating attack.
Mueller streaked down the right before finding Ozil who scored after swapping passes with Klose.
"All three goals were set up beautifully," said Joachim Loew after his 75th match as Germany coach and his 52nd win.
"It was a richly deserved victory, there's no doubt about that," added the 51-year-old. "The Dutch defence was overwhelmed."
Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk said he was "hurt" by the defeat.
"That was an embarrassing match for us, to get beaten 3-0 by our neighbours and so deservedly," he said. "But it's good it happened to us before the Euros and not during it."
Van Marwijk added it might have been a different story if top forwards Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart had not been missing through injury.
"If all our players are fit we've got no reason to be afraid," he said.
(Additional reporting by Tom Wagner, editing by Tony Jimenez)
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