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Germany Wins a Blowout

Group E: Klose scores three goals in 8-0 victory over Saudi Arabia, the largest margin in World Cup since 1982.

June 02, 2002|Mike Penner

Judging from the first round of results in Group E on Saturday, one prediction can safely be made:

Saudi Arabia won't be advancing to the second round.

After Cameroon and Ireland waged a hard-fought draw, Germany routed the Saudis, 8-0, at Sapporo, Japan, in the fourth most lopsided score in World Cup history.

The Germans scored four goals in each half and five on headers--three by Miroslav Klose. Also scoring for Germany were Michael Ballack, Cartsen Jancker, Thomas Linke, Oliver Bierhoff and Brend Schneider.

"It's a fantastic start," Germany Coach Rudi Voller said. "But we have to keep our feet on the ground because we know our opponent wasn't that strong today."

The eight-goal margin of defeat was the World Cup's largest since Hungary beat El Salvador, 10-1, in 1982.

"It was a disastrous result," said shell-shocked Saudi Coach Nasser Al-Johar. "Our team performed badly. There was a definite collapse in the game. This is not our real team."

Al-Johar apologized to the team's supporters for the performance, saying, "I am also responsible.

"I didn't expect this from my players. I'm very disappointed. Some players did not play very well at all, but we have two more matches to play and we can still qualify. We promise our fans in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world to do our best in the next two matches."

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