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Klose to perfection

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June 21, 2006 03:33 IST

Miroslav Klose stole the limelight yet again as Germany romped to 3-0 victory over Ecuador on Tuesday and took the top spot in Group A at the World Cup.

The Bundesliga Player-of-the-Year, who also scored twice in Germany's 4-2 win over Costa Rica on the opening day of the month-long tournament, swooped for his first goal in the fourth minute of a match, played in stifling humidity at the Olympiastadion, and then got his second just before the break.

Miroslav KloseThe Polish-born forward has now scored nine World Cup goals, five of them coming during Germany's route to the final four years ago in Japan and South Korea.

If Klose's goals on the first day of the World Cup warmed the cockles of the heart, Tuesday's double confirmed the predatory instincts of the 28-year-old striker.

His first goal was a sheer piece of opportunism. Following a German corner, the Ecuador defenders failed to clear the ball from the box and it travelled to defender Per Mertesacker, who flicked it to the far post, where Bastian Schweinsteiger crossed it into the path of Klose, who drove home on the run and performed his trademark somersault, a form of celebration, he says, he reserves for important goals in big games.

Klose made sure his name would top the scorers' list at the end of the day with a gem of a goal two minutes from the breather. Put through by Ballack, he held off his marker and took the ball round goalkeeper Cristian Mora before slipping the ball into an empty net.

Few strikers can score goals like that and as consistently.

Germany now faces stiffer opposition in Sweden next and they'll be looking up to Klose to deliver again. If he can maintain the early form he has shown in the tournament a place in the quarter-finals is assured.

Player of the day