BERLIN - Miroslav Klose scored twice to help the World Cup host beat Ecuador 3-0 on Tuesday. The victory gave Germany the maximum nine points and first place in Group A. Lukas Podolski also scored for Germany, which last won its first three matches at a World Cup in 1970.

Even better than the prolific offense - eight goals in the first round - is a once-vulnerable defense that has not conceded a goal in two straight games.

Both teams were assured of advancing to the second round before the kickoff. Their opponents would be determined after later matches pitting England vs. Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago vs. Paraguay. Germany, a three-time World Cup winner, will play Saturday in Munich, and Ecuador will play Sunday in Stuttgart.

Klose, who now has nine World Cup goals, finished strong German pressure early in the match when he scored in the fourth minute. Klose celebrated with his trademark somersault, a gesture he says is reserved for important goals in big games.

On the second goal, captain Michael Ballack chipped a pass to the edge of the Ecuador box, Klose shook off two defenders while playing the ball off his thigh, went around Mora and coolly slotted home.

Poland 2, Costa Rica 1

HANOVER, Germany - Poland's first 2006 World Cup victory again came too late. Bartosz Bosacki scored twice in a Group A game between two teams already eliminated from the tournament.

Poland, which lost its first two games in Germany, also won its last game at the 2002 World Cup, when it beat the United States 3-1 in South Korea after dropping its first two group games.

The winner against Costa Rica came in the 66th minute, when Bosacki rose above Paulo Wanchope to powerfully head Jacek Krzynowek's corner kick into the goal.

Costa Rica took a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute when Ronald Gomez's low, left-footed free kick from 19 yards got past the defensive wall and goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

Bosacki tied the score in the 33rd off a corner kick by Maciej Zurawski. Costa Rica goalkeeper Jose Porras ran out in an attempt to punch the corner kick away, but he stumbled and the ball fell to Bosacki, who knocked it in the net.

England 2, Sweden 2

COLOGNE, Germany - England finally got a result against Sweden it can live with.

No, not a win - that has been too much to ask for. The tie was enough for the English to win Group B at the World Cup.

Henrik Larsson tied it off a throw-in, getting the slightest touch to deflect the ball into the net in the 90th minute. England hasn't beaten the Swedes since way back in 1968 - seven years before David Beckham was born - a streak of frustration that is now at 12 games.

But the tie means Sweden has to face three-time champion and World Cup host Germany in Munich in the second round Saturday.

Joe Cole scored in the 34th minute, and then set up Steven Gerrard's go-ahead goal in the 85th for England. But the English couldn't put away the Swedes, a problem that has lasted nearly four decades.

Marcus Allback had tied it 1-1 for the Swedes on a header in the 51st minute.

England plays Ecuador on Sunday in Stuttgart.

Paraguay 2, Trinidad and Tobago 0

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - This own-goal went in Paraguay's favor and knocked Trinidad and Tobago right out of the World Cup. Brent Sancho headed a ball past his own goalkeeper in the 25th minute and Trinidad and Tobago never recovered.

Trinidad came into its final first-round match with slim hopes of advancing, needing a win against already- eliminated Paraguay, an England win over Sweden and help on goal differential. The Soca Warriors were unable to do their part and the rest did not matter.

Even a win wouldn't have helped T&T because of Sweden's 2-2 tie with England.

After starting its first World Cup appearance with a promising and surprising 0-0 draw against the Swedes, Trinidad and Tobago finished last in the group with only that one point.

Paraguay's other goal was by Nelson Cuevas in the 86th minute.

Recommended for you

comments powered by Disqus