Joachim Löw's perfect start as Germany coach continued with a comfortable victory in Slovakia.
Third group win
Slovakia had made their mark in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying Group D on Saturday with a 5-1 win in Wales but Germany, who defeated the Republic of Ireland and San Marino last month, were three up at the break thanks to Lukas Podolski, Michael Ballack and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Podolski took his goal tally in the group to seven late on after Stanislav Varga had reduced the deficit.
Podolski strikes again
Fresh from claiming the only goal against Ireland and then four of the tournament-record 13 in San Marino, Podolski was on target 13 minutes in after Miroslav Klose's pull-back from Bernd Schneider's through-ball. Podolski looked to set up Klose soon after, but the 2006 FIFA World Cup top scorer nodded over from close range. The second goal instead was claimed by Ballack, getting his head to Philipp Lahm's cross from the left.
Ballack and Schweinsteiger were Saturday's marksmen in the 2-0 friendly success against Georgia, and the second of those joined the captain on the roll of honour tonight. Slovakia goalkeeper Kamil Čontofalský could only parry a long-range Ballack effort and Schweinsteiger followed up to emphatic effect.
There was hope for the hosts just before the hour as Varga beat Jens Lehmann to the ball and headed in to end Germany's run of clean sheets since Löw took over, but dreams of a comeback were punctured with 18 minutes left as Klose outdid the offside trap and unselfishly squared to Podolski, who had the easiest of tap-ins. Germany trail the Czech Republic by one point but have a game in hand, as they go to Cyrpus on 15 November. Slovakia are a further three point back in third, and visit Cyprus in March.