Coach insists Germany still has work to do

Germany became the first team to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals when it clinched one of the top two spots in Group D with a 0-0 tie with Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

Germany, third at the 2006 World Cup under Juergen Klinsmann, cruised into next year's final under Klinsmann's assistant, Joachim Loewe. It picked up the final point it needed in Dublin even though Loew was without captain Michael Ballack, striker Miroslav Klose and midfielder Bernd Schneider with injuries.

Loew insisted Germany was still not among the best in Europe.

"We've got to improve and not start stagnating," he earlier told Germany's ARD television. "We're going to go all out to beat the Czech Republic on Wednesday at home in Munich."

The Czechs are in line to capture the second berth in Group D, while several other groups are almost decided.

Croatia and England both can wrap up berths in Wednesday. Romania, Croatia, Spain and Sweden are all in good shape.

The closest race is in Group B, where Scotland, which was given no chance when the qualifying draw was held, remained in first place after a convincing 3-1 victory over Ukraine. Italy and France both won to remain one and two points behind, respectively.

Saturday's heroes included Dorin Goian, whose goal gave Romania a 1-0 win over the Netherlands in their Group G showdown.

Thierry Henry scored in the 6-0 win at the Faeroe Islands to equal Michel Platini's record of 41 goals for France. Bad weather prevented the Bleus from arriving on the island until just hours before the kickoff.

 

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