Podolski Booked as Germany Down Georgia 2-0 | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 08.10.2006
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Podolski Booked as Germany Down Georgia 2-0

Germany striker Lukas Podolski was sent off three minutes after halftime and was joined by his victim 14 minutes later as Germany defeated Georgia 2-0 in a friendly international in Rostock Saturday.

Ballack and Schweinsteiger congratulate each other

Ballack and Schweinsteiger each had a chance to celebrate

Podolski aimed a kick while on the ground at Zurab Khizanishvili and Austrian referee Gerald Lehner had no hesitation in showing the Bayern Munich striker the red card.

"I was provoked, but that should still not happen and there can be no excuses," Podolski said.

Khizanishvili joined Podolski in the dressing room 14 minutes later when he was shown a second yellow card for a tackle from behind on Mike Hanke.

Goals in each half from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Germany captain Michael Ballack gave coach Joachim Löw his fourth successive victory since succeeding Jürgen Klinsmann after the World Cup.

Podolski celebrates a goal against Ireland

Poldi had more to celebrate in the last match against Ireland

Ballack set Schweinsteiger up to strike a superb distance shot into the top of the net in the 24th minute to put Germany in front.

The Bayern player then returned the favor by providing the pass to Ballack who left-footed the second in the 67th minute in a spell of German pressure after both teams had been reduced to 10 men.

Still things to talk about in German locker room

"It was an entertaining game and we made some mistakes but we had four players playing for the first time and a lot of young players in the side," Löw said. "We played with a lot of heart, but we will have to talk about some things with the team."

Löw said the red card for Podolski was "a logical consequence" of the kick on Khizanishvili.

"He is a young player but this is something we will have to talk about internally," Löw said. "It's the sort of thing that should not happen."

Drei neue Nationalspieler

Clemens Fritz, Jan Schlaudraff and Piotr Trochowski, from left

New hands get first caps

Werder Bremen defender Clemens Fritz and Hamburg midfielder Piotr Trochowski were two new caps in an inexperienced-looking Germany team lacking several established players.

Aachen striker Jan Schlaudraff and Wolfsburg defender Alexander Madlung of Wolfsburg also earned first caps when they came on during the second half for Hanke and Manuel Friedrich respectively.

Georgia could thank Goergi Lomaia for keeping his side in the match, but the visitors also came close to scoring in the first half after a hesitant start by the Germans. The visitors thought they had equalized just before half-time but Otar Martsvaladze was judged to be narrowly offside after he had netted from a free-kick.

Poldi still on Slovakia roster

Podolski's red card was his first in 36 matches for Germany. Khizanishvili tackled the striker from behind and was still on the ground when Podolski delivered the kick right in front of the referee. Since the booking came in a "friendly" match, the 21-year-old will still be able to take the field in Germany's Euro 2008 qualifier against Slovakia on Wednesday.

Georgia's German coach Klaus Toppmoeller was satisfied with his side's performance in an important test for before a Euro 2008 qualifier against Italy on Wednesday.

"We showed we could play good soccer," he said. "We wanted to play offensively and stay compact and I think we succeeded. We created some good chances in the first half."

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