MONCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AFP) - Germany coach Joachim Loew said it was mission accomplished as his side took a four-point lead in their World Cup qualifying group thanks to Wednesday night's 1-0 win over Wales.
Hamburg winger Piotr Trochowski unleashed a superb second-half winner here as Loew's side took a sizeable step towards claiming the single guaranteed place at South Africa 2010 from Group Four.
Their third win from four games, and three more points against a spirited Welsh side after last Saturday's 2-1 win over Russia, means Germany will finish the year on ten points ahead of Russia and Wales who are on six.
"With six points from the last two matches, we are absolutely content," said Loew. "We are the group leaders, which is a good foundation to build on for next year.
"We expected the Welsh would defend deeply, but in the second-half we invested more and our team was mentally very strong."
Dogged defending by Wales frustrated Germany until Trochowski's strike as the host's attack finally unpicked the lock on the Welsh goal when the 24-year-old winger rifled his shot past Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
The Welsh plan had been simple - restrict Germany's attack and get forward as much as possible - and John Toshack's team held the Germans team to 0-0 until the 72nd minute and had some chances to silence the 44,500 crowd.
"We came here to play in a certain way, even if we didn't get forward as much as we would have liked in the first half," said Toshack.
"They had chances, but I thought we contained them well.
"But the way they set up with their four in midfield they can all hit them from 25 yards out and so it proved.
"We had restricted them in the first half but maybe we tired a little bit.
"We couldn't ask for much more from them.
"It's probably a measure of how far we've come that we're disappointed at losing 1-0 away in Germany."
And Chelsea captain Michael Ballack admitted the home side struggled to finish their numerous chances in the first half.
"We failed to score an early goal and made life a bit hard for ourselves," said Ballack.
"In the first-half, we lacked the concentration and a bit of finishing, but things were better in the second-half."
Trochowski chose the perfect time to score his first goal for Germany, but admitted his side should have finished with more goals.
"We should have scored more goals - we certainly created the chances, but the main thing was to get the three points," said Trochowski.
"It's been a while since I shot so many times on goal, the ball had to go in at sometime. I am just over the moon we won the game."
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