The fans who turned out at Dynamo Moscow's stadium were treated to an awesome show of strength by Germany in the holders second Group C game at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship Russia 2006.
In a spectacular afternoon's work, the Germans took their Mexican opponents apart with astonishing ease, dispelling the clouds that had gathered after their opening-game defeat and racking up a scoreline of 9-1, the tournament's biggest-ever win, in the process.
Coach Maren Meinert made a number of changes to her starting line-up after the disappointment against Korea DPR. Meinert brought in Janina Haye and Monique Kerschowski to stiffen up the backline, Nadine Kessler was given a start in the centre of midfield, and Anna Blasse was given the opportunity to stake her claim as part of Germany's attacking trio.
"We're lucky enough to have players with very different qualities," said Meinert after the game, "and the changes had nothing to do with losing our previous game. I'm very pleased with the win. After what happened in the first game this had become a potentially tricky match for us."
Over in the Mexico camp, striking prodigy Charlyn Corral lost her place in the starting 11 to defender Janelly Farías as Tricolor coach Leonardo Cuéllar erred on the side of caution, wary of a German backlash.
Cuellar's concerns certainly proved well-founded as Meinert's charges grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck right from the first minute. With the Mexicans pinned back and defending desperately, their brave resistance was broken by Germany skipper and Player of the Match Celia Okoyino Da Mbabi on 24 minutes. Simone Laudehr was the provider, swinging a cross into the box for the unmarked Da Mbabi to head home (0-1, 24').
"We all did a good job today," the captain said afterwards. "The fact that there were seven different goalscorers proves that we played as a team."
Within five minutes, the Mexican rearguard had been breached once more. Fatmire Bajrama, a constant threat down the left flank, ran onto Blasse's pinpoint square ball before beating Mexico keeper Anjuli Ladron with an angled drive (0-2, 29').
As Cuellar's carefully thought-out defensive set-up collapsed around him, Germany continued to grow in confidence, their well-oiled midfield unit continually supplying quality balls for a goal-hungry frontline. The third goal came just two minutes later. Nadine Kressler broke into the area at speed, easily evading the challenge of two Mexican defenders before firing home (0-3, 31').
Coach defends Corral omission
At the sharp end of the German attack, Blasse and Duisberg forward Laudehr were in scintillating form, the two players combining for Germany's fourth goal. Laudehr's powerful long-range strike proved too hot to handle for Ladron in the Mexican goal and Blasse reacted first to the rebound to knock the ball home (0-4, 37').
Shortly before the interval, Jackie Acevedo went close to narrowing the gap for Mexico but her header flew just off target. Such profligacy would be punished just moments later, Blasse taking advantage of yet another Laudehr cross from the right-hand side to notch her team's fifth goal in the space of 20 minutes (0-5, 44').
Cuellar belatedly elected to introduce rising star Corral, 14, for the second half, but the damage was already done. "She's a very young player and we were expecting a very physical game," was how the coach justified his decision. "Obviously this is a very embarrassing time for the team, and I'm extremely disappointed. After our display in the first game I was sure we'd put in a better performance, but we have actually got worse. It will be very tough to lift the girls after this."
Just four minutes into the second period, Laudehr notched her first and her side's sixth goal of the encounter, heading in from Kerschowski's cross, and Germany continued to lay siege to the Mexican goal (0-6, 49').
Hard as Ladron tried to drag her defenders back into position, Mexico's defensive line was in complete disarray. Nancy Gutierrez and Leticia Villalpando got in each other's way while trying to mark Juliane Maier, and the Freiburg player took full advantage to add to the lop-sided scoreline (0-7, 58').
Mexico did at least grab a consolation effort, but only through a comical error by German shot-stopper Romina Holz. After receiving the ball from one of her defenders, Holz's attempted clearance smashed into the body of Monique Cisneros and into the net (1-7, 76').
The German women appeared to take the goal as a personal affront and duly notched their eighth strike within moments of the restart, when Jennifer Oster was in the right place to smash the ball home after Ladron failed to clear properly from Blasse's dangerous centre (1-8, 77'). The Hamburg forward went on to seal her hat-trick, and round off an incredible match, with a slick finish from Ann-Christin Angel's pass (1-9, 84').
Player of the Match: CELIA OKOYINO DA MBABI
"The captain created a host of goalscoring opportunities. She's a top-class creative player. Moreover, she grabbed the opening goal which set her team-mates on the road to a vital win, especially after Germany had lost their first game," Marika Domanski-Lyfors (SWE), FIFA Technical Study Group .