Germany kept up the pace in the race to qualify for the 2014 World Cup by recording a routine 3-0 win over Kazakhstan in Astana.
First-half goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gotze within a minute of each other gave the visitors the lead, and Thomas Muller grabbed a third shortly before full-time.
While Kazakhstan looked up for the fight in the opening minutes of the contest, doing their best to harry their opponents, the gulf in class between the two was obvious from the off. An early burst forward from Gotze came to nothing, while Sami Khedira had an effort charged down.
Marcel Schmelzer looked willing to get down the left and almost laid one on a plate for Julian Draxler, who could only tap the ball wide from close range, while Mesut Ozil drove a free kick into the wall when he should have done better.
Andrey Sidelnikov then got himself behind a Draxler pop shot from distance, but the visitors really should have taken the lead when a masterful flick from Schweinsteiger set up Gotze, who contrived to skew a shot high and wide a matter of yards from goal.
In the end, though, the inevitable goal came. Ozil floated in from the left-hand side, drove a pass to Schweinsteiger, who took the ball over his man brilliantly and shot. It appeared to take the slightest deflection off Thomas Muller, but the Germany vice-captain claimed it nonetheless.
Within seconds, it was two. Khedira drove down the byline and pulled it back to Muller, who was promptly crowded out, but forced it back to Gotze, and the Dortmund star applied the finish to get his goal.
For the rest of the first half, it was plain sailing. Draxler was withdrawn due to a head injury and replaced by Lukas Podolski, who combined well with Schmelzer, while Ozil, Schweinsteiger, Gotze and Muller played for possession, rarely surrendering the ball.
After the break, the Germans made a slightly lax start giving the home fans something to cheer about, but, while Kazakhstan's industry down the lines was praiseworthy, they struggled to craft any real chances.
Bauyrzhan Dzholchiyev sent an effort straight into Manuel Neuer's hands, and Sergey Ostapenko's looming presence forced Muller to turn a corner over his own bar, but in truth, the visitors looked more likely to score than concede.
Podolski had three efforts charged down in quick succession on the break, while the Kazakh wall stood firm to block another free kick, this time from Schweinsteiger.
Germany pressed and probed but the hosts were happy to drop back and deprive them of space. And their conservative approach almost paid dividends. Ulan Konysbaev rattled the woodwork with an extraordinary strike, before Neuer made an acrobatic save to deny Heinrich Schmidtgal.
But the two chances seemed to wake up Germany, who charged up the other end and added a third through Muller after some neat build-up play from Ozil and Gotze to secure the victory.
The two sides clash again in Nurnberg on Tuesday.
|Coach: M. Beranek|
for M. Baizhanov 36'
for M. Khayrullin 65'
for S. Ostapenko 82'
|Fiorentina swoop for Brillante|
|Navas set to join Bayern|
|Neymar rejects agent´s anti-Scolari Twitter tirade|
|Allegri undecided on Italy job|
|Fernando idolises City team-mate Toure|
|Arteta: FA Cup will inspire Arsenal´s Premier League tilt|
|Evergrande confirm Gilardino signing|
|Howedes calls for team effort to stop Messi|
|Kuyt: Van Gaal can succeed at United|
|Argentina fined for player no-show|
|Neymar: ´I could be in a wheelchair´|
|Mascherano: I tackled doubts to block Robben|
|Zaccheroni: I leave Japan in a good spot|
|Aguero: Argentina ready to give everything|
|UEFA Europa League Review: Gothenburg leave it late, Sillamae stun Honka|
|Klose lauds Ronaldo after scooping record|
|Iran refute Susic claims|
|Fernandez named Deportivo boss|
|Argentina have no chance, says Robben|
|Hierro to replace Zidane as Real first-team coach|
|Rhodes signs new Rovers deal|
|Arsenal complete Sanchez swoop|
|Inzaghi backs under-fire Balotelli|
|Defeat has overshadowed display - Vlaar|
|Maradona: Germany full of themselves|
|Barry hoping for England recall|
|Green extends QPR stay|
|Shanghai Shenhua 1 Guangzhou Evergrande 2: Rong leaves it late in dramatic win|
|Germany hope for Brazilian support|
|Torino striker Cerci in demand|
|FIFA critcised following Mascherano incident|
|Bernat happy at Bayern despite bad memories|
|Giggs backs Van Gaal to thrive at Old Trafford|
|Tadic can fill Lallana void - Koeman|
|New five-year deal for Nasri|
|Barcelona release injury-hit Cuenca|
|Suarez appeal rejected|
|La Decima a reflection of Di Stefano - Perez|
|Buoyant Mazzarri eager for Inter success|
|Mandzukic joins Atletico|
|Van Gaal criticises third-place play-off|
|Halilhodzic yet to decide future|
|Mandzukic eager for Simeone link-up|
|Davies hoping for Hull deal|
|Poyet hopeful over Altidore fitness|
|Diego close to ´dream´ Fenerbahce move|
|Inter loan out youngsters|
|Fired-up Cole can inspire Villa, claims Lambert|
|Hughes hailed for winning over Brit doubters|
|Hajrovic signs for Bremen|
|Hull can buck Europa League trend, says Meyler|
|Mertesacker talks up German chances|
|Swansea reveal Tottenham contact over Davies, Sigurdsson|
|Lloris pens five-year deal at Tottenham|
|Fernandinho: ´The pain is big´|
|MLS Preview: Portland aim for swift revenge against Seattle|
|Sabella: Germany have an advantage|
|Second Argentine journalist dies in Brazil|
|Aguero: Argentina defied critics|
|Impressive Mascherano thrilled with final´s berth|
|Zuniga offered protection by Colombia|
|Germany vowed not to ´humiliate´ Brazil|
|Hong resigns from South Korea post|
|Third-choice Vlaar ´wasn´t nervous´|
|Van Gaal: I wanted Krul in the shootout|
|Argentina: Key factors in reaching the final|
|Sabella revels in semi-final win|
|Proud Robben feels pain of World Cup exit|
|FIFA World Cup: Netherlands 0 Argentina 0 (after extra time, 2-4 on penalties)|
|Susic signs two-year extension with Bosnia-Herzegovina|
|Hummels in race to make World Cup final|
|Scolari still baffled by Brazil collapse|
|Spendlhofer and Benedetti leave Inter|
|Neymar ´recovering well´ from injury|
|Villarreal sign Jonathan dos Santos|
|Arteta happy at Arsenal, insists agent|
|Birsa makes Chievo loan switch|
|FIFA suspends Nigeria over political interference|
|Di Stefano funeral held in Madrid|
|Hangeland scathing of ´difficult´ Magath|
|Thiago Silva in fan plea|
|Isgrove earns fresh one-year deal at Southampton|
|Morata edges closer to Juve switch|
|Nugent pens two-year extension at Leicester|
|Gomez delight with ´perfect´ Germany|
|Costa Rica to discuss Pinto future|
|Arfield agrees Burnley extension|
|Allardyce targets four more signings|
|K.League Review: Jeonnam close gap on Pohang, Jeonbuk|
|Maradona: Thrashing damages Brazil´s image|
|Kasami makes Olympiacos move|
|Chelsea complete Pasalic signing|
|Helenius makes temporary Aalborg return|
|Higuain set for Napoli stay|
|Basta targets return to Europe with Lazio|
|Lewandowski willing to adapt for Bayern|
|New Hull deal for Jakupovic|
|Atletico agree Mandzukic deal, claims Sammer|
|Fulham seal Stafylidis loan|
|Alves pens new Valencia deal|
|Ochoa to take time over future|
|Brown could miss three months|
|Adams: Norwich will not overspend|
|Gundogan unsure when rehab can step up|
|Stoke chairman wants long Begovic stay|
|Brazilian media reacts to semi-final exit|
|Icardi vows to remain at Inter|
|Robben is player of the World Cup, says Kluivert|
|Klose focused on final after breaking record|
|Prandelli takes aim at Balotelli, Rossi|
|Schweinsteiger sorry for Brazil battering|
|Brazil scarred for life, says Fred|
|Sabella: Argentina ´have already won´|
|Muller stunned by rout|
|Low lauds ice-cool Germany|
|Tearful Luiz apologizes for semi-final loss|
|Scolari sorry for ´catastrophic´ Brazil hammering|
|Brazil join sport´s biggest chokers|
|Reality kills Brazilian dream on a surreal night|
|FIFA World Cup: Brazil 1 Germany 7|