Germany topples Canada in men's soccer friendly

The Canadian men's soccer team didn't look out of place against Germany for the first 45 minutes of Sunday's international friendly.

Then Germany, runners-up at last summer's World Cup, showed why they are ranked No. 4 in the world.

The Germans, warming up for the upcoming Euro 2004 qualifiers, scored three second-half goals to defeat Canada 4-1 at the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg, Germany.

"The second half was a lot livelier and they started to tire," German coach Rudi Voeller said. "They didn't give us a lot of space in the first half."

Kevin McKenna of Calgary scored Canada's only goal. Pat Onstad of Vancouver tended net for Canada.

Carsten Ramelow, Paul Freier, Fredi Bobic and Tobias Rau scored the goals for Germany.

McKenna gave Canada a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute. Martin Nash of Victoria crossed the ball in from the right and McKenna jumped above Frank Baumann to head the ball past goalkeeper Frank Rost into the net.

Ramelow scored the equalizer in the 41st minute for Germany, while Freier, Bobic and Rau added markers in the second half. The Germans also had two goals disallowed on offside calls.

Canada played well even with one of its most inexperienced squads to date. The team was without several regulars including Tomasz Radzinski, Jason deVos, Lars Hirschfeld, Jim Brennan and Dwayne DeRosario.

Canadian defender/midfielder Ante Jazic dressed, but did not play due to a back injury suffered last weekend with his club team, Rapid Vienna.

The Germans were missing four starters who were in the German Cup final Saturday -- captain and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn and midfielders Michael Ballack and Jens Jeremies, all of Bayern Munich, and Kaiserslautern striker Miroslav Klose. Bayern Munich won the Cup.

Germany was Canada's highest-ranked opponent since June, 2001, when the Canadians tied then-No. 2 Brazil 0-0 at the Confederation Cup.

Canada will be competing in the men's Gold Cup from July 12-27, 2003.

Their opening match will be against Costa Rica on July 12, 2003, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

with files from Canadian Press