World Cup, Day Two: Germany 4-1 Morocco

Group B: Germany survived an early scare from Morocco in their first World Cup match at the Cosmos Arena in Samara today, coming from behind inside the opening five minutes to score four in reply during a game where they also hit the woodwork on three occasions.

Marouane Chamakh fired Morocco ahead from close range with just four minutes on the clock. A poor corner was headed away at the near post, but Mehdi Carcela was first to react and fire the ball back into the box. Holger Badstuber got a block in, but the ball squirmed across the face of goal and in the scramble, Chamakh turned home from three yards out.

The lead only lasted ten minutes, with Sebastian Rode pulling off a cheeky 20-yard lob to level. Mario Götze worked his way into the area, but had his shot charged down. The ball fell perfectly to Rode who went for the dink over the top of Kouha to see it loop perfectly into the top corner.

Midway through the half, Badstuber rattled the Moroccan crossbar when he thundered a header against it from a Rode free-kick from out wide. Both sides tested their opposing ‘keeper from distance but the first-half petered out somewhat with the score at 1-1.

The second-half was only 56 seconds old when Chamakh once again wheeled away in celebration when he headed home a Boussoufa cross at the far post, only to see a correct offside flag from the Italian assistant referee on the far side.

Within five minutes, Germany had struck the crossbar twice. Toni Kroos was involved with both; the first his corner which Mario Gómez crashed against the frame of the goal, before Kroos himself rattled the woodwork with a speculative effort from 30 yards.

Mesut Özil was denied at point-blank range by Kouha after a neat one-two between Gómez and Götze fed the Real Madrid man, but Kouha was big and brave and got enough on the shot to turn it round the post. The resulting corner was whipped in by Rode and Jan Kirchhoff swept home to put Germany in front.

Germany were in complete control throughout the second-half and when they added a third inside the last ten minutes it was a surprise to nobody. A rare Moroccan corner was cleared with ease, and the ball worked wide to Götze. Cutting inside from the right, he found Mario Gómez who had time to take a touch before rifling home from twelve yards.

Chelsea defender Kirchhoff added a fourth in stoppage time when he headed home from Rode’s corner. Germany will play Australia in Nizhniy on Thursday, while Morocco will meet Ireland in Moscow the same day.

                    FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP B
                      GERMANY 4-1 MOROCCO
                      Rode 14     Chamakh 5
            Kirchoff 61, 90+4
                     Gómez 82