Soccer-Klose equals record as Germany sail past Austria


MUNICH, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Miroslav Klose equalled Gerd Mueller's 39-year-old German scoring record as his side sailed to a 3-0 win over neighbours Austria in World Cup qualifying on Friday.

Klose, in typically opportunist fashion, got in front of his marker to turn in the ball after Thomas Mueller whipped in a low cross from the right to break the deadlock in the 34th minute.

It was the 35-year-old's 68th goal in 129 appearances, matching Mueller's mark which had stood since 1974.

Toni Kroos made sure of three points with a long-range strike shortly after halftime and Mueller completed the scoring with an easy tap-in in the 88th minute, putting Germany ever closer to a place at next year's World Cup in Brazil.

Captain Philipp Lahm also make his 100th appearance for Germany who have 19 points from seven games at the top of Group C.

It was Germany's ninth successive win over their neighbours and, although the visitors offered some threat in the first half, the match petered out after Kroos's strike.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had to wait 40 minutes before making his first real save from a low David Alaba shot and he was also tested by Aleksandar Dragovic's looping effort just before the break.

Germany will be delighted to have kept a clean sheet after conceding nine goals in three recent friendlies, including a 3-3 draw at home to Paraguay last month. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Ed Osmond

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