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Germany have sustained the good form they discovered at the World Cup finals and Wednesday’s 4-1 victory over of Slovakia in Bratislava makes qualification for the 2008 finals look a formality.

“That was an impressive performance. We played with maturity and were ruthless in taking our chances,” said captain Michael Ballack.

“We should not feel safe as the qualification campaign is a long one but if we can carry on like his and take the lesser opponents seriously we will qualify.”

Germany are second in Group D one point behind the Czech Republic, who have played a game more.

“I am very proud of my team. It was fun watching from the dug-out, particularly in the first half,” said Germany coach Joachim Low.

“This was not the decisive victory but a huge step towards the European championships.

Low, who succeeded Jurgen Klinsmann after the World Cup, has won his first five matches in charge with the team scoring 23 goals and conceding just one.

Low refused to get carried away preferring to highlight the contribution of Bayern Munich forward Podolski who scored twice.

“I was particularly pleased that Lukas Podolski scored after all the headlines over his red card,” Low explained.

“I spoke with him about it beforehand. He went out there care-free and managed to put it to the back of his mind.”

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