Germany beats Sweden 2-0 to reach World Cup quarterfinals

Lukas Podolski scored two early goals Saturday to give Germany a 2-0 win over Sweden and a place in the World Cup quarterfinals.

Podolski scored in the fourth and 12th minutes, with forward partner Miroslav Klose playing a big role in both. Podolski now has three goals at the tournament.

Germany will play either Argentina or Mexico in the last eight. Those two teams played later Saturday in Leipzig.

Sweden defender Teddy Lucic was sent off in the 35th and striker Henrik Larsson wasted a penalty in the 53rd to make matters even worse.

Germany has now won four games in a row, and has looked better in each.

Juergen Klinsmann took over as coach two years ago, promising to bring Germany its fourth World Cup title at home. It may not have been an empty promise.

Much maligned before the World Cup after a string of lackluster warmup matches, many Germans were skeptical of the team's chances. But the doubters have become believers and carried on by euphoric home crowds, Germany looks like a contender.

Germany got off to a fast start. Michael Ballack passed to Klose, who faked two defenders and cut inside but diving goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson made the save. The ball bounced back to Podolski, who shot the ball off the head of Lucic and into the net.

The second was even prettier.

Klose collected a pass just outside the box, drew three defenders and slipped a reverse pass into space for Podolski, who drove a left-foot shot past the goalkeeper.

Bernd Schneider had another chance in the 84th, sending a shot off the post after a deflection.

"Berlin, Berlin, we're going to Berlin," the crowd began singing, referring to July 9 final in the German capital.

The Germans didn't sit on their lead. Isaksson had to dive to his right to make a one-handed save on Ballack's shot from 20 meters (yards), then Klose headed high and Schneider shot wide.

By then, the chants had become a bit less respectful.

"You are only furniture suppliers," sang the crowd, no doubt with Ikea in mind, reports AP.


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