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Germany's 13 unlucky for S. Marino

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SERRAVALLE, San Marino -- Germany crushed San Marino with a tournament record 13-0 victory on Wednesday, striker Lukas Podolski scoring four goals in a Euro 2008 Group D qualifier.

The victory is a record in a European Championship qualifying match -- bettering Spain's 12-1 victory over Malta in December, 1983.

Joachim Loew's side were 6-0 up by the interval against hopeless opposition and never eased up as they humiliated their mostly amateur opponents.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Thomas Hitzlsperger all scored two goals each with Michael Ballack, Arne Friedrich and Bernd Schneider (penalty) also on target.

"We knew that this was the weakest team in our group and and we wanted to score a lot of goals," Podolski said.

San Marino, No. 191 among the 197 teams ranked by FIFA, massed its defense but was torn apart by the three-time World Cup champion, still riding high after finishing third in the latest edition at home in July.

Germany's previous largest victory in a game away from home was 9-1 at Luxembourg in 1934. San Marino, which has one victory in its history, is 0-35 now in qualifying matches for European championships and the World Cup.

Podolski opened the scoring in the 12th minute, heading in a cross from Schneider but they had to wait for number two until the 29th when Schweinsteiger knocked in a pass from Marcell Jansen.

That opened the floodgates.

Klose scored in the 30th, Ballack followed in the 35th -- his first goal since before the World Cup on June 2 -- Podolski ended a good German move by scoring his second, again off a pass by Schneider. Klose then used a perfect through ball from Ballack to make it 6-0 second before halftime.

Less then two minutes into the second half, Schweinsteiger drove in a free kick from outside the penalty box.

Podolski and Hitzlsperger then alternated in scoring as San Marino could not keep up with the pace of the Germans.

Friedrich scored his first goal for Germany before Schneider converted a penalty in the 88th for the final goal.

Podolski, center, hit four as Germany scored a competition record 13 goals.



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