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DATELINE/ GERMANY

Optimism Abounds After Big Victory

June 03, 2002|Jim Barrero

Only a handful of euphoric fans were predicting a fourth World Cup after an 8-0 rout of Saudi Arabia on Saturday, but Germany's performance was apparently a tonic for the country's wounded soccer pride.

Even German legend Franz Beckenbauer, who had dismissed the team as average a few months ago, was beaming after the win.

"What can I say? A complete match. What I liked was the way we had every space on the pitch covered," Beckenbauer said. "Maybe this team is capable of some things."

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