Germany first to qualify for Euro 2008 finals

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DUBLIN, Oct 14 (Reuters) Germany became the first team to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals thanks to a 0-0 draw in their Group D match against Ireland at Croke Park.

The point was enough to secure the visitors their place with three games to spare.

Ireland's point from the match will do little to improve their chances of qualifying, however. They are still five points behind the Czech Republic and eight short of table-toppers Germany who both have games in hand.

Germany had the edge in terms of possession but failed to capitalise against an Irish side that went into the second half fighting, chalking up several several shots on goal that often looked more threatening than those of their opponents.

Yellow cards for Lee Carsley and Richard Dunne mean they will both miss Wednesday's qualifier against Cyprus in Dublin while German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will also miss his side's next qualifer.

Reuters DKS VP0442

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