Germany swayed many Germans who doubt their team can win the World Cup by easing past Ecuador, 3-0, to finish atop Group A on Monday.
As they streamed out of the Olympiastadion, site of the final July 9, fans bubbled with enthusiasm and the confidence their team would be back to play for the title. Coach Juergen Klinsmann, maligned for spending much of his two years in charge as a California resident, is generating press support to be re-hired. The support is far from universal but a few weeks ago it was nonexistent. Victory has a way of swaying public opinion.
Miroslav Klose, top scorer in the Bundesliga this past season with 25 goals, nailed his third and fourth goals of the competition, Michael Ballack played some superb balls including one to set up Klose, and a solid defensive effort led by Per Mertesacker shut down an Eucadoran team lacking striker Agustin Delgado and four other starters rested by Coach Luis Suarez.