Klose equals goal record as Germany down Austria
Germany edged closer to booking their World Cup place with a convincing 3-0 win over Austria in Friday night's qualifier as striker Miroslav Klose equalled the German goal-scoring record.
The win at Munich's Allianz Arena in front of 68,000 fans leaves Germany five-points clear at the top of Group C with three games left, including Tuesday's away trip to bottom side Faroe Islands.
Veteran striker Klose, 35, equalled Gerd Mueller's 39-year-old record of 68 goals for Germany when he gave his side a first-half lead on his 129th international appearance as Bayern pair Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller added second-half goals.
Mueller, now 67, netted the last of his 68 goals with the winner in the 1974 World Cup final as West Germany beat the Netherlands 2-1 in Munich on his 62nd appearance in the famous white shirt.
Klose has needed more than double the amount of matches to equal the German record.
"It's an honour to be level with Gerd Mueller's record, but I have often said you can't really compare the two of us, as he scored his goals in so few games," said Klose.
Another milestone was honoured before kick-off as Germany captain Philipp Lahm was presented with his 100th cap as he became the eighth German Football Federation (DFB) player to reach the milestone.
"It's great to convincingly beat the team who were second in our group," said Lahm.
"We didn't leave much space at the back and were creative going forward for our goals.
"We used our week well, but we must keep working harder."
The best chance of the opening half hour came when Marco Reus' shot was parried by Austria goalkeeper Robert Almer, who managed to get back on his feet fast enough to save Klose's header.
But five minutes later the veteran was not to be denied his landmark goal when Mueller fired in a cross and Klose fired home off the shin of Austria defender Aleksandar Dragovic on 33 minutes.
Kroos doubled the hosts lead on 51 minutes when he slotted home a Reus pass from well outside the penalty area which gave Almer no chance.
Having leaked nine goals in their last three previous friendly games, Germany's defence was noticeably more robust, even with Joachim Loew's team missing vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger and attacking midfielder Mario Goetze.
"We did our homework, we knew how Austria would play and we took the sting out of them," said Loew.
"It was good to keep them scoreless, but ultimately it's the win which counts.
"I am pleased that Miro finally got the record, I am sure his 69th goal will follow soon."
Loew brought on Borussia Dortmund's defensive midfielder Sven Bender for Klose ten minutes from time to safeguard the lead and Mueller netted the third on 88 minutes when he converted replacement Benedikt Hoewedes' pass in front of goal.
Victory gave Loew's side their sixth win from their seven qualifiers with only last October's dramatic 4-all draw with Sweden in Berlin -- when Germany threw away a 4-0 lead -- the only blot.
The defeat leaves Austria third in the group, three points behind Sweden, who moved up to second after beating the Republic of Ireland 2-1 in Dublin on Friday.
Germany are away to Group C bottom side Faroe Islands on Tuesday, the same night Austria host the Republic of Ireland in Vienna.