- Man of
Cup Hopefuls Argentina Shocked By Germany
July 3, 2010
Germany booked their place in the World Cup semi-finals with an emphatic 4-0 win over Argentina at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening.
The sublimely talented youthful German team was in control for most of the game, thanks to a goal in the opening minutes and a further two midway through the second half, while the fourth came just before full-time.
Germany looked extremely sharp early on and indeed they got the match off to a dream start with a goal inside three minutes.
It came via the set-piece route, Thomas Mueller stealing in between some static defenders to glance Bastian Schweinsteiger’s in-curling free kick into the back of the net with his head.
It was the 20-year old Mueller’s fourth goal at the finals, in only his seventh cap for the Germans.
The first 15 minutes certainly belonged to the 1990 World Cup winners as some energetic play and cohesive attacks left Argentina looking somewhat rattled.
There were half chances as well for Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira, as well as Lukas Podolski, all inside the opening 15 minutes.
Argentina couldn’t establish any sort of rhythm as they struggled to find time and space against a well organised German defensive unit.
This was illustrated by the fact that the South Americans had to wait until the 31st minute for their first chance on goal, which saw Lionel Messi firing a free kick well over the bar.
Following this, Argentina began to find some semblance of a threat in attack as Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Higuaín both had near post shots saved.
Germany however remained a threat as Mueller capitalised on some sloppy defence in clinical fashion, bursting into the box and squaring the ball for Miroslav Klose, who should really have scored from 12-yards out but instead sent the ball over the bar.
Argentina had a 10 minute spell towards the end of the stanza when they looked more promising in attack and they thought they had scored a 36th minute equaliser, but Higuaín’s goal, after a lovely build up, was correctly ruled off-sides.
Podolski then came close with a rasping low drive from some distance; a reminder that the European side were searching out a second goal and had at no time adopted defensive tactics after the early opener.
Another storming run from Philipp Lahm just before the half time break nearly brought Mueller his second goal, but his 16-yard shot was deflected wide of goal.
Argentina began the second half with a real sense of urgency and far more purpose.
Di Maria came close to levelling the game when his cracking drive whizzed across the face of goal, missing the upright by inches.
There were more chances on goal as Tevez, Higuaín and Messi all had efforts on goal, none of them however any cause for concern for the Germans.
Argentina’s dominance however only lasted for five or 10 minutes as Germany began to settle down and goal keeper Sergio Romero had to be alert to stop Klose getting on the end of Jerome Boateng’s cross.
Germany did not however stop at simply playing their way back into the game – in the 68th minute a quick break resulted in a second goal as Podolski squared for Klose, cutting out Romero and providing the easiest of finishes – Klose’s 51st goal in his 100th appearance.
And five minutes later it was game set and match for the Germans when Arne Friedrich made it 3-0, poking the ball over the line after Schweinsteiger had done the hard work with a scintillating run down the left.
Germany still weren’t finished though – they looked content to play out the remainder of the game in comfort at 3-0 up, but when the chance came they accepted it in typical clinical fashion as Klose side-footed home a cross from the left, compounding Argentina’s misery, but adding the icing to the cake on a great day for this young German outfit.