Germany and England continue big guns' advance
London: Germany and England maintained the strong starts shown by Europe's big guns in Euro 2012 qualifying when easy wins over Kazakhstan and Wales respectively on Saturday kept them on course for the finals.
Germany hammered the Kazakhs 4-0 in Kaiserslautern with two goals each by Miroslav Klose and Thomas Mueller to make it five wins out of five in Group A that takes them eight points clear of Belgium and Austria.
England joined Montenegro at the top of Group G with 10 points from four games after a Frank Lampard penalty and a Darren Bent tap-in gave them a comfortable 2-0 win over Wales.
It must have been among the most one-sided of the 100 meetings between the British rivals spanning the last 132 years.
On Friday, group leaders Spain, Italy, France and Netherlands all won to continue their progress towards the finals in Poland and Ukraine.
It was not all plain sailing for the favourites on Saturday, however, as Croatia lost 1-0 in Georgia.
Slavan Bilic's side conceded an 89th minute goal scored by Levan Kobiashvili to hand top spot in Group F to Greece for whom Vasilis Torosidis scored five minutes into stoppage time to secure a 1-0 win in Malta.
Greece have 11 points, Croatia 10, Georgia nine and Israel seven after they beat Latvia 2-1.
Group H pacesetters Norway, who had won their first three games, needed a late goal to earn a 1-1 home draw with Denmark.
Group B leaders Russia also only earned a point as they were held 0-0 in Armenia, allowing Ireland, 2-1 winners over visiting Macedonia, and Slovakia, who won 1-0 in Andorra, to join them in a three-way tie at the top, all on 10 points.
The nine group winners and one runner-up with the best record qualify automatically for the finals with the eight other runners-up going into playoffs to produce four more qualifiers to join the two host nations.
Germany, three times winners and three times losing finalists, can already start planning for their next assault on the championship after another dominating display.
Mueller, top scorer in the 2010 World Cup, struck twice before the break, both times set up by Mesut Ozil, as the injury-hit visitors struggled to deal with wave after wave of German attacks.
Klose, out of favour at Bayern Munich, continued to reward the faith shown by national coach Joachim Lowe when he scored at the start and end of the match, finding the target for a sixth consecutive game and taking his tally to 61 in 107 matches.
The win takes Germany to 15 points from five games, in which they have scored 17 goals and conceded one. Belgium and Austria have seven points.