Germany trounces Saudi Arabia 8-0

Germany has beaten Saudi Arabia 8-0 in its opening match at the World Cup.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Sapporo, Japan:

Striker Miroslav Klose scored three times Saturday to help Germany to a lopsided 8-0 World Cup win over Saudi Arabia, giving the three-time champions control of Group E. It was the largest margin of victory for Germany in the competition's history. It's also the most lopsided World Cup victory since Hungary beat El Salvador 10-1 in 1982 in Spain. Klose scored on headers in the 20th, 25th and 68th minutes to continue his good goal-scoring form. The 23-year-old now has 11 goals in just 13 matches for Germany. Midfielder Michael Ballack connected on another header in the 40th minute, Carsten Jancker used his right foot to extend the lead just before the first half ended and defender Thomas Linke made it 6-0 in the 73rd. Oliver Bierhoff scored in the 83rd and Bernd Schneider converted a free kick in the 90th to close out the rout. The Saudis struggled all night against their more established opponents and never produced any serious scoring chances. Klose was coming off a three-goal performance in Germany's last international match before traveling to Japan, a 6-2 rout of Austria. The Polish-born player also scored 16 times for Kaiserslautern in the Bundesliga this season. Today's match was played indoors at the Sapporo Dome in Japan. Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed al-Deayea made his 169th international appearance, leaving him one short of the record held by Mexico's Claudio Suarez, according to FIFA. The win put Germany two points clear of Ireland and Cameroon in Group E after those two nations played to 1-1 draw earlier Saturday. In the group's next matches, Germany plays Ireland on Wednesday and Saudi Arabia plays Cameroon Thursday. (AP) The Teams:Germany: 1-Oliver Kahn (c); 2-Thomas Linke, 21-Christoph Metzelder, 6-Christian Ziege, 22-Torsten Frings, 5-Carsten Ramelow (Jens Jeremies, 46), 8-Dietmar Hamann, 13-Michael Ballack, 19-Bernd Schneider, 9-Carsten Jancker (Oliver Bierhoff, 66), 11-Miroslav Klose Saudi Arabia: 1-Mohammed al-Deayea; 3-Redha Tukar, 4-Abdullah Sulaiman Zubromawi, 12-Ahmed Dukhi al-Dossari, 13-Hussein Sulimani, 8-Mohammed Noor, 16-Khamis Alowairan al-Dossari (Ibrahim al-Shahrani, 46), 17-Abdullah Alwaked al-Shahrani, 18-Nawaf al-Temyat (Abdulaziz al-Khathran, 46), 9-Sami al-Jaber (c), 20-Al-Hasan al-Yami (Abdullah Jumaan al-Dosary, 76) Referee: Ubaldo Aquino (Paraguay)