Saturday, May 27, 2006

Germany leaves Luxembourg in Tatters

FREIBURG, Germany (AP) - Germany strikers Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski each scored twice on Saturday to lead the World Cup host to a 7-0 win over lowly Luxembourg.

Torsten Frings scored from a penalty in the first half before substitute Oliver Neuville also notched two in injury time.

The match was the first in a series of three in a week completing Germany's preparations for the World Cup.

Tim Borowksi replaced Germany captain Michael Ballack, who injured his left ankle in practice two days ago and stayed behind in the team's training base in Geneva, Switzerland.

Despite missing its top star, Germany easily dominated its first international since World Cup training started on May 16.

Coach Juergen Klinsmann used 17 players and former No. 1 goalkeeper Oliver Kahn came in at the start of second half for Jens Lehmann.

"It was important to see how we would play after hard training, when the players' legs are tired. We tried to have some fun and score some goals," Klinsmann said. "Podolski and Schweinsteiger were in good form. You could see they have fun while they are out there.

"We applied what we had in mind," Klinsmann said.

Klinsmann added that no one could be sure of starting World Cup games.

Immediately after the match, the German team flew back to Switzerland for two more days of training before it returns home to play Japan in Leverkusen on May 30.

Germany also plays Colombia in Moenchengladbach on June 2, before kicking off the World Cup on June 9 in Munich against Costa Rica.

Its other Group A games are against Poland and Ecuador.

After five minutes, Podolski made a quick break down the left wing and set up Klose, who tapped the ball in from close range.

Luxembourg nearly equalized in the 10th, when Alphonse Leweck beat the German defence to Sebastien Remy's cross but shot wide.

On the other side, Klose shook the crossbar with a header.

Bastian Schweinsteiger earned a penalty in the 19th when he was brought down by Tim Heinz and Frings converted from the spot to make it 2-0.

In the 36th, Podolski chested down a cross from Borowski at the edge of the area and drove the ball into the roof of the net to pad Germany's lead.

Klose notched his second in the 59th, on an assist by Schweinsteiger.

Klinsmann then took off Klose and sent on Gerald Asamoah, who earned a penalty less than two minutes after coming on. Podolski scored from the spot past goalkeeper Marc Oberweis, who had fouled Asamoah.

Neuville used two late lapses by the Luxembourg defence to complete the rout.

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