SHANGHAI, China -- Germany trounced Argentina 11-0 with a
record-setting victory in the opening game of the women's World Cup
on Monday, sending a message it is a serious about defending its
The margin of victory was the largest in the women's World Cup,
and the goals were the most by a single team.
Veteran forwards Birgit Prinz and Sandra Smisek combined for six
goals -- three each -- as the Germans dominated every part of the
game over their smaller opponents.
Prinz, playing in her 165th game for Germany, scored with a
thumping header, knocked in a loose ball at the far post, and then
slipped a glancing header past Argentine goalkeeper Vanina Correa.
The last was Prinz's 12th overall in the World Cup finals,
surpassing the previous German record of 11 by Bettina Wiegmann.
Smisek, who has played nearly 120 matches for Germany, scored a
second-half hat trick.
With the midfield in complete control, the Germans knocked balls
over the Argentine back wall and attacked down the wings for a 5-0
lead at halftime.
Prinz scored twice in the first half for Germany, which also got
a lucky first goal in the 12th minute when Correa punched a corner
kick from Melanie Behringer into her own goal.
The other first half goals for Germany, which beat Sweden in
extra time of the final four years ago, came from forward Kerstin
Garefrekes and midfielder Melanie Behringer.
The second half started the same way for Germany, with veteran
midfielder Renate Lingor jumping on a poor clearance at the edge of
the area to loop it over Correa into the far corner.
Smisek then took over, seizing on errors in the Argentine
defense. Her partner up front, Prinz, also scored once in the
second half. Correa mishandled another corner kick in the last
minute of play for Germany's 11 goal.
The huge win was a strong message to the other favored teams in
the tournament, especially United States, which is ranked No. 1 in
the world, one spot ahead of the Germans. The Americans were to
open on Tuesday in Group B against North Korea.
The other Group A opener in Tuesday with Japan playing England.
The 16-team tournament is spread around five cities in China
with the final in Shanghai on Sept. 30.
Argentina played without suspended Catalina Perez and lost the
services of midfielder Mariela Coronel on the eve of the tournament
because of a knee injury.