Shock and Gor: Horror as footballer is poleaxed by boot to his face on eventful night for first woman to ref Germany game (VIDEO)

Champions League winner Leon Goretzka was floored by a horrendous studs-up challenge to his face as Germany put the boot in on Liechtenstein, giving the landmark-making female referee no choice but to brandish a straight red card.

Any hopes minnows Liechtenstein had of adding to their single point in eight games in the current World Cup qualifying campaign were emphatically extinguished just nine minutes into their trip to Germany.

Jens Hofer, a left-back who plays for a club in the fifth tier of Swiss football, smacked the jumping Goretzka in the face mid-air with his studs in a wild attempt to win the ball inside the Germany penalty area.

Croatian official Ivana Martincic, who had become the first woman to take charge of a senior Germany match, had little choice but to order Hofer off.

Prone Goretzka needed prolonged treatment, with 24-year-old Hofer – looking as shocked as many of the faces in the crowd – pursuing the midfielder to ask after his welfare as he left the pitch before returning to the action.

Once play resumed, Manchester City playmaker Ilkay Gundogan slotted in the resulting penalty to begin a long night for the numerically-depleted visitors.

Liechtenstein contributed to their downfall again when Daniel Kaufmann scored an own-goal after 20 minutes, then brave Goretka set up Leroy Sane two minutes later to make it 3-0 at half-time.

Goretzka was replaced by Florian Neuhaus at that point in a move described as a precautionary switch by Die Mannschaft manager Hansi Flick.

Sane scored his second four minutes after the break, and Germany were rampant in the final 15 minutes, scoring a flurry of goals, including a brace from Thomas Muller, to complete a 9-0 thrashing.

"He has been examined again," boss Hansi Flick said after the crushing victory, with Goretzka thanking fans on his Instagram account alongside a reassuring message.

"I assume that he can also [travel with us] to Armenia on Saturday. We need him.

"He is very important; he strengthens the defensive and wins the ball importantly ball wins.

"He would also have continued playing, but we didn't want to take any chances."

Flick joined Martincic in making history, becoming the first Germany coach to win his first six games in charge.

The former Bayern coach had to make several changes after five of his players were ruled out because they had been in close contact with defender Niklas Sule, who contracted Covid.

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