Football: Germany rout Liechtenstein in World Cup to give Flick record-breaking start

Germany's Thomas Mueller (centre) celebrates scoring the 8-0 lead with his team. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WOLFSBURG, GERMANY (REUTERS) - A makeshift Germany team crushed Liechtenstein 9-0 in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday (Nov 11) as Hansi Flick recorded the best ever start for a Germany coach with his sixth win in six games in charge.

With five players sidelined due to defender Niklas Suele's Covid-19 infection, coach Flick had to make sweeping changes to his lineup.

But the already-qualified Germans eased past Liechtenstein, who were down to 10 men after 11 minutes, with two goals each from Thomas Mueller and Leroy Sane to top Group J with 24 points, nine ahead of second-placed North Macedonia.

The hosts went ahead with an 11th-minute Ilkay Gundogan penalty after Jens Hofer was sent off for kicking Leon Goretzka with a high challenge in the face.

It got worse for the visitors who conceded three goals in three minutes, starting with Daniel Kaufmann stabbing in for an own goal in the 20th.

Leroy Sane made it 3-0, slotting in from a perfectly timed Goretzka pass and Marco Reus added another.

With Flick's predecessor Joachim Loew, who received an official farewell before the game, watching from the stands Germany struck again four minutes after the restart with Sane before late goals from Mueller and Ridle Baku.

Mueller bagged his second in the 86th before another own goal by Liechtenstein, this time from Max Goeppel, ended their miserable evening.

Germany play Armenia on Sunday.

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