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Sports

Klinsi's Squad Dismantles Thais

The German national soccer team ended its three-game Asian tour with an easy 5-1 victory over Thailand. Jürgen Klinsmann's squad returns home having won two games and losing one.

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Goal scorers Kuranyi (top) and Asamoah celebrated their victory

After their 3-1 loss to South Korea on Sunday, coach Jürgen Klinsmann gave several of his first-string players a break, most notably goalie Oliver Kahn and midfield playmaker Michael Ballack. On Tuesday, the reserves put in an impressive performance against a hopelessly undermanned Thailand winning 5-1.

The goals came from Kevin Kuranyi (34th and 38th minute), Lukas Podolski (73rd and 89th) as well as Gerald Asamoah (84th minute). Thailand put a bit of fear into the Germans at one point by pulling to within just one goal in the 57th minute on a goal by striker Chaikamdee Sarayoot.

The match was played primarily in one direction — that of the Thai goal. Thailand's coach, former German national player Siggi Held, can thank his goalkeeper Kosin Hathairattanakool that the final score was not more lopsided. After the game, Held expressed his irritation by saying that his team did not do what he has drilled into them on the practice field.

Missed opportunities in the first 30 minutes

Länderspiel Thailand gegen Deutschland

Kevin Kuranyi (right) found the net twice against Thailand

German coach Jürgen Klinsmann was more relaxed in the post-match interview. On German public television, he complimented the team for pushing forward the whole match. In the first half-hour of the game, though, he must have been raging inside.

Compared to Sunday's match, there was lots of room for both teams to develop their games, particularly on the German side. Strikers Asamoah und Thomas Brdaric gave away clear chances. Bastian Schweinsteiger's direct kick hit the crossbar.

Finally, 11 minutes before the half, Kuranyi broke the scoreless tie after a Thai player lost the ball to him outside the penalty area. Four minutes later, Asamoah lofted a cross to Kuranyi who headed the ball into the goal. That seemed to be all that the Germans needed to take apart the team ranked 79th in the world.

Podolski scores first goals for Germany

In the second half, Brdaric hit metal and then Thailand struck. Friedrich nonchalantly lost a ball at midfield and the Thais raced downfield leaving keeper Hildebrand without a chance. Klinsmann then brought in Lukas Podolski who revived the Germans.

Länderspiel Thailand gegen Deutschland

Arne Friedrich (right) wore captain's armband for first time

His two goals, his first on the national team, certainly raised his stock of claiming a spot on the World Cup 2006 squad.

"I just wanted to go in there and play a good game," said the Cologne striker. That he did. The Germans can be happy to have won so easily in Bangkok, but they did it in a rather lackluster manner.

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