Germany hit Liechenstein for sixSeptember 7th, 2008 - 4:01 pm ICT by IANS
Vaduz (Liechtenstein), Sep 7 (DPA) Three-time world champions Germany breezed to a 6-0 victory over lowly Liechenstein in a Group 4 match to ease into their World Cup football qualifying campaign.The losing Euro 2008 finalists took their time Saturday to get into scoring gear on a rainy night in Vaduz but hit five goals after the break to warm up for a more difficult trip Wednesday to Finland.
Germany had scored 17 goals in their only two previous meetings against the principality, winning 9-1 in 1996 and 8-2 in 2000, but for a long time Liechtenstein proved stubborn opponents.
Lukas Podolski fired German ahead in the 21st minute with a crisp left-foot shot after a neat exchange of passes with Piotr Trochowski but it was all Germany had to show for first-half possession.
Trochowski had seen a shot saved by goalkeeper Peter Jehle in the fourth minute and Miroslav Klose should have scored a second for Joachim Loew’s side but sidefooted the ball past Jehle and the post.
But Podolski added a second - and his 30th for Germany - three minutes after the break after Trochowski was again the provider, and the floodgates gradually began to open.
The Bayern Munich striker almost scored a third when he blasted the ball over the bar from close range, but Simon Rolfes and Bastian Schweinsteiger scored in the 65th and 66th minutes.
Thomas Hitzlsperger added a fifth 10 minutes later and defender Heiko Westermann made it six four minutes from time as the match turned into a stroll for Joachim Loew’s side.
However there was no goal for Klose whose lack of form in front of goal continued, and the Bayern striker was replaced by Mario Gomez in the 64th minute.
Loew said the main thing was to start the qualifying campaign with a victory.
“We also showed that we can play successfully against teams who are very defensive,” he said.
“We could have scored a goal or two more in the first half but we made up for it with a couple of nice goals in the second half.”
Podolski, who this week voiced his frustration at being mainly a substitute at Bayern Munich, said: “I feel very good here (with the German team) and feel I have the confidence of the coach.”