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Podolski double fires Germany in 6-0 rout over minnows

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 6 Sep 2008

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Striker Lukas Podolski gave the perfect answer to last week's accusation of “whining” with two goals as Germany beat minnows Liechtenstein 6-0 in their opening 2010 World Cup qualifier on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Bayern Munich forward struck either side of half-time to lead Germany's charge and he has now scored 30 goals for his country on his 56th appearance to silence his critics at his club.

Podolski has endured a testing fortnight at Bayern where he has been kept on the bench and told to stop whinning about the situation by club manager Uli Hoeness, while coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he needed to 'step on the gas.'

In front of just under 8,000 capacity crowd at the Rheinpark Stadium here, Germany were 1-0 up at half-time, but ran riot in the second half.

Podolski combined with Hamburg winger Piotr Trochowski on 21 minutes and rifled his shot past goalkeeper Peter Jehle.

Heavy rain in the first half in Liechtenstein's capital meant the game was never going to match Germany's 13-0 trouncing of other European minnows San Marino in 2006.

Podolski struck again almost straight after the half-time interval in a carbon-copy of his first goal as he combined again with Trochowski.

The dam finally burst in the 65th minutes as midfielder Simon Rolfes stabbed the ball home through a packed defence for Germany's third.

And just minutes after taking the captain's armband from Miroslav Klose, Bayern team-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger scored Germany's fourth goal on 66 minutes.

Germany had a great deal of luck for their fifth goal when Stuttgart captain Thomas Hitzlsperger launched his 76th minute free-kick which took a deflection off Liechtenstein striker Mario Frick's foot on its way into the net.

The sixth goal came in the dying stages when Schalke 04 defender Heiko Westermann drove his header into the back of the net on 86 minutes from a cross by teenager Marko Marin.

Germany coach Joachim Loew will now take his team to Helsinki for Wednesday night's qualifier against Finland.

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