Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ruthless Germany

I had expected Germany to win against Argentina but perhaps with a 2-1 scoreline. But when the game started, and I saw how Germany were quick on the ball almost immediately – I wasn’t so sure. True enough, in the very crowded Modiva at Kota Damansara, I saw Thomas Mueller opened the scoring after only three minutes when Schweinsteiger swung in a free-kick from the left and he escaped the Argentina defence to beat Sergio Romero with a downward header that the keeper got a leg to but could not keep out. This one goal at half-time was sufficient to signal that Germany was going to win, and prehaps win by more than a one-goal margin.

While Argentina did put some pressure on Germany at the start of the second-half to quicken my heartbeat – the former were not able to translate these dogged attempts into goals. But resolute Germany pressed forward and hit back with a lethal sucker-punch to collect two near-identical goals in quick succession.

First, Podolski burst into the box down the left and squared to give Miroslav Klose the easiest of tap-ins to make it 2-0, with the striker walking the ball over the line (67). Then, with Argentina still rocking, Schweinsteiger weaved his way down the same flank and crossed for Arne Freidrich to bundle the ball in at the near post (74), making it 3-0.

Fittingly, the final word went to Klose, who volleyed home Germany's fourth from Mesut Oezil's cross (89), after the imperious Schweinsteiger had brought the ball forward again.

At times this win was reminiscent of the way Germany had demolished England's backline in the second round a week ago, with Argentina caught out by their speed and incisiveness on the counter-attack as they confidently chased the game.

Ruthless Germany had despatched a highly fancied Argentine side, and they now move into the last four looking in good shape to become world champions for the first time since 1990. What a great game!

And in the other match, Spain took out Paraguay to reach their first World Cup semi-final as Spain’s David Villa's goal after 82 minutes earned his team a 1-0 win over Paraguay.

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