Toothless Lions Fall to Klinsi′s Red Army | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 18.11.2004
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Toothless Lions Fall to Klinsi's Red Army

Jürgen Klinsmann enjoyed his first home win as German manager when his team, newly decked out in a red change strip, defeated 10-man Cameroon 3-0 in a friendly match in Leipzig on Wednesday.


Red alert: Kevin Kuranyi bursts past Cameroon's Geremi in Leipzig

Germany unveiled its own lion at the weekend but the national soccer team showed no mercy to World Cup mascot Goleo's indominatable relatives from Cameroon on Wednesday night by beating the Africans 3-0 in a friendly match in Leipzig.

Brazilian-born Kevin Kuranyi broke the deadlock in the 71st minute before substitute Miroslav Klose grabbed a late brace (78, 88) as Cameroon, down to ten men following the late dismissal of Manchester United's Eric Djemba-Djemba, waved the white flag.

The match officially opened Leipzig's €90 million ($117 million) Zentralstadion -- one of the 12 venues for the 2006 World Cup -- and the fans in eastern Germany were treated to a comfortable victory.

"We won almost all of our tackles and it was just a question of time before we scored," Klinsmann said. "Cameroon tried to kill the tempo of the game but we never allowed them to - that is what really pleases me."

For Cameroon it was a missed chance to avenge their 2-0 defeat in the 2002 World Cup and a miserable return for their German coach Winfried Schäfer.

"We let the country down with that display," Schäfer said. "I am infuriated at our lack of discipline. I do not want to say anything else as I need to calm down."

Winni on the dole after defeat

Fußball Länderspiel Deutschland - Kamerun

Head coach German Winfried Schaefer utters his last words as Cameroon coach.

Schäfer had other things on his mind other than the temperament and attitude of his players after the game, like finding a new job. Cameroon Sports Minister Siegfried Etame Massoma fired the former Karlsruhe handler -- whose contract ran until 2006 -- shortly after the final whistle for poor results and serious errors of judgment according to Cameroon state radio.

The sports minister was not the only one seeing red. Germany took to the pitch sporting a new scarlet strip which had been adopted after Klinsmann's team of sports psychologists recommended the "aggressive" color for the new change kit. The new approach almost paid off on 13 minutes but Bernd Schneider screwed his shot wide after a great solo run from Philipp Lahm.

With 22 minutes gone, captain Michael Ballack then drilled a free-kick through a poor Cameroon wall and ran off celebrating his 21st goal for his country. However, Italian referee Massimo de Santis ruled out the effort claiming he had not blown his whistle.

Youthful defense proves solid

Klinsmann had put his faith in a youthful backline consisting of 20-year-old Robert Huth -- who plays more for Germany than he does for club Chelsea; Hanover's Per Mertesacker, 20, and Lahm, 21, but there was no sign of nerves.

Fußball Länderspiel Deutschland - Kamerun

Safe hands: Lehmann keeps a clean sheet.

Indeed Cameroon had just one chance in the entire match with Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o stinging the palms of Jens Lehmann with a shot mid-way through the first half.

But it was Germany who looked more dangerous going forward and in the 51st minute Ghana-born striker Gerald Asamoah looked certain to score only to lose his footing at the crucial moment.

Kuranyi and Klose wrap things up

Two minutes later, Kuranyi missed a guilt-edged chance driving his shot wide when afforded an ocean of space. But the breakthrough finally arrived on 71 minutes as Cameroon got their offside trap all wrong and Kuranyi strolled through to stroke the ball home.

Then it turned into the Miroslav Klose show as the Werder Bremen man rifled home in the 78th minute and added his second two minutes from time as Cameroon collapsed. "It is always nice to come on when the opposition are tired," Klose said.

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