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Gomez guides Germany past Austria

Austria 1-2 Germany
Mario Gomez notched a goal late in either half to see off Germany's spirited neighbours and extend their perfect record at the top of Group A.

Mario Gomez hit both of Germany's goals in Vienna
Mario Gomez hit both of Germany's goals in Vienna ©Getty Images

Germany made it six wins from as many outings in Group A as Mario Gomez struck late in each half to earn his side victory away against spirited neighbours Austria.

The visitors made light of the absences of Miroslav Klose – scorer of eight goals in qualifying so far – and Bastian Schweinsteiger as their replacements Gomez and Toni Kroos combined on the stroke of half-time to break the deadlock. Austria levelled thanks to an Arne Friedrich own goal but they were powerless to thwart the runaway section leaders, Gomez heading in a Philipp Lahm cross in the final minute.

Dietmar Constantini's home team initially looked to soak up pressure and hit on the counterattack but that began to look a dangerous tactic as Germany found their rhythm. First Gomez failed to beat Christian Gratzei after being put through by Mesut Özil, then Lukas Podolski skimmed the top of the crossbar from long range.

Unperturbed, Austria gradually offered a threat of their own, Paul Scharner testing Manuel Neuer and Martin Harnik scooping over after the visiting No1 had failed to claim a corner. Erwin Hoffer also went close and those misses appeared costly when Gomez broke the deadlock in the 44th minute, reacting first when Kroos's corner was flicked on by  Friedrich and ricocheted off Fuchs.

Despite the timely breakthrough, Joachim Löw's charges were pegged back five minutes into the second half as Friedrich turned a David Alaba cross into his own net. With the crowd sensing a possible first competitive victory against Germany since the 1978 FIFA World Cup, Austria began playing with verve and passion.

Stefan Kulovits hit a post and the lively Harnik and Alaba both threatened, but as in the first half the visitors had the final say in the 90th minute. Gomez met Lahm's inviting cross with a thumping header to send his team seven points clear of Belgium with a game in hand – Tuesday's trip to Azerbaijan. Fourth-placed Austria's next outing is a rematch in Germany on 2 September.