Germany blank Tunisia

Associated Press

Cologne, June 18:

Michael Ballack’s 74th-minute penalty and late goals by Bastian Schweinsteiger and substitute Mike Hanke lifted Germany to a 3-0 victory over Tunisia in the Confederations Cup. With both teams playing on even terms, Ballack converted the penalty after he was brought down by Wissem Abdi. Schweinsteiger scored six minutes later, cutting in a sharp-angle shot behind goalie Ali Boumnijel. Hanke scored on a close-in shot in the 88th, just seconds after coming on. Germany has six points in two games and should reach the semi-finals from Group A, probably with Argentina. Tunisia is winless in two games, losing earlier to Argentina 2-1.

Germany was widely expected to reach the semis, with coach Juergen Klinsmann expected to do well with the World Cup in Germany just a year away. Striker Gerald Asamoah had the first early chance, but his close-in shot in the fourth minute was stopped by Tunisia goalkeeper Boumnijel. Arne Friedrich had German’s second good chance in the 17th, but Boumnijel came out sliding to stop his 18-yard shot.