Germany rout Liechtenstein to give Flick record-breaking start

A makeshift Germany team crushed Liechtenstein 9-0 in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday 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 Sule's COVID-19 infection, coach Flick had to make sweeping changes to his lineup.

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

"It was a great atmosphere, the fans were here and we showed we kept wanting another goal and then another one," Muller said.

"Obviously, Liechtenstein getting a player sent off that early allowed us to have some more chances. But you have to see everything in perspective. It is not that we had to face an extremely difficult opponent in this group."

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.

Germany players celebrate after scoring a goal against Liechtenstein in World Cup qualifying.
Germany players celebrate after scoring a goal against Liechtenstein in World Cup qualifying.
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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.

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

With Flick's predecessor Joachim Low, 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.

Muller 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.