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Soccer-Six-goal Germany crush Armenia in final warmup

Reuters

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MAINZ, Germany, June 6 (Reuters) - Germany produced a dazzling display of attacking football to thrash Armenia 6-1 in their last World Cup warmup on Friday but Marco Reus could be in doubt for the finals after twisting his ankle.

The Germans, looking to end an 18-year wait for an international title, scored all their goals in the second half after midfielder Reus was taken to hospital for checks after being injured in the 43rd minute.

Mario Goetze struck twice and Lukas Podolski, Andre Schuerrle, Benedikt Hoewedes and Miroslav Klose, who became his country's all-time top scorer with 69 goals, were also on target as the hosts hit five goals in 18 minutes.

"It was obvious we were much fresher today," coach Joachim Loew told reporters, referring to Sunday's 2-2 draw with Cameroon. "In the second half we upped the tempo as well.

"When we switch on that turbo my team can do a lot of things. I am looking forward to the tournament."

Germany, who take on Portugal, Ghana and United States in World Cup Group G later this month, were without first-choice keeper Manuel Neuer who is recovering from a shoulder injury.

Neuer, expected to be fit for the group opener against Portugal, was replaced by Borussia Dortmund's Roman Weidenfeller for the second consecutive international.

The deputy keeper was rarely called into action as Germany took the initiative from the start. They missed early chances through Reus and Thomas Mueller, starting as the only forward with Klose on the bench.

Reus missed several good chances before he was hurt, an injury that instantly silenced the 27,000 crowd.

Schuerrle, who also scored on Sunday, gave the fans something to cheer when he drilled the ball in after 52 minutes following good work from Podolski.

Mesut Ozil, a second-half substitute after recent below-par performances, rattled the post with a low drive before Armenia levelled when Henrikh Mkhitaryan beat Dortmund team mate Weidenfeller with a 69th-minute penalty.

Germany then put their foot on the gas to fire five goals in an explosive finish.

Podolski, hitting top form at just the right time, picked up a clever pass from Ozil to score in the 71st minute before Hoewedes added another goal two minutes later.

"We have to be ready from the very first game," said Podolski after claiming his first international goal for more than a year. "That is where it counts because if you win that first game then you can benefit from a big tailwind."

Klose, who came on as a substitute, broke Gerd Mueller's 40-year Germany record by notching a 69th goal on his 132nd appearance with a diving header.

Goetze completed the rout with a late double. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Tony Jimenez)

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