Germany have become the first team to qualify for UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ next summer in Finland following a 5-0 Group 4 defeat of Belgium.
Silvia Neid's team led by a single Conny Pohlers goal at the break, but stepped up a gear after the restart in Eupen with two strikes from Kerstin Garefrekes either side of a second from Pohlers and a Linda Bresonik goal confirming Germany's dominance. The result means the holders, aiming for a fifth straight title, maintain their 100 per cent record in Group 4 – a section they have won with two matches still to play.
Despite the absence of Renate Lingor, Martina Müller, Lena Goessling and Célia Okoyino da Mbabi because of injury, Germany were in control from the outset and had their first chance to take the lead on nine minutes when a Birgit Prinz effort went narrowly wide. However, Pohlers went one better on eleven minutes later when she got on the end of a free-kick from Melanie Behringer.
Germany then put the result and their qualification beyond doubt with three further goals between the 45th and 60th minutes. Seven minutes after the restart, Garefrekes scored her first, before Pohlers claimed her second of the match with a shot which struck the crossbar and rebounded off the back of Belgium goalkeeper Gave Van Pouke and into the net. Belgium did not know what had hit them, and just sixty seconds later Garefrekes scored her second.
Bresonik then put the icing on an impressive performance by firing past Van Pouke 12 minutes from time. Germany face Wales next on 29 May before rounding off their qualification campaign against Switzerland in October. Belgium go to the Netherlands on 29 September hoping victory will take them into the play-offs.