World Cup 2010 Quarter Final (Saturday 3rd July 2010, K.O. 15:00 BST)
Venue: Green Point Stadium
Conditions: Dry and sunny. Temp: 16c, Wind 4.0m/s
Germany: 4 (Mueller 3, Klose 68, Friedrich 74, Klose 89)
Germany: Neuer, Friedrich, Lahm (C), Mertesacker, Boateng (Jansen 72), Khedira (Kroos 78), Schweinsteiger, Oezil, Mueller (Trochowski 84), Podolski, Klose.
Argentina: Romero, Demichelis, Burdisso, Heinze, Otamendi (Pastore 70), Mascherano (C), Di Maria (Aguero 75), M Rodriguez, Messi, Tevez, Higuain
Referee: Ravshan Urmatov (Uzbekistan)
Germany stormed into the semi finals of the World Cup in South Africa with a stunning four nil win against Diego Maradona’s Argentina. The Germans took the lead early on through Mueller and never looked back with Klose twice and Friedrich adding further goals in the second half. Argentina didn’t create a single clear cut chance in whole game and were outclassed in every department.
The opening game came in the third minute when Nicolas Otamendi fouled Lukas Podolski on the German left wing. Bastian Schweinsteiger curled in a free kick towards near post where Thomas Muller got ahead of his marker Otamendi to head past Romero and into the net.
Otamendi’s nightmare start to the game continued when he was booked in the 11th minute for a late tackle on Friedrich at the other end of the field, by which point Diego Maradona must surely have been regretting his decision to choose the Velez Sarsfield defender ahead of Newcastle’s Jonas Gutierrez. The best chance in open play of the first half came in the 24th minute when Muller broke into the Argentine box and squared it for Klose, but the striker’s snapshot flew over he bar. At the very least he should have forced the ‘keeper to make a save.
In the 36th minute, Argentina were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position as Thomas Mueller was harshly booked for a handball. Messi’s shot hit the German wall but Heinze played the rebound back in to the box to Tevez, who was in behind the German defence and squared it to Higuain, who put the ball into the net but it was rightly disallowed for offside. By this point Argentina were putting a lot of pressure on the German defence but Germany still looked just as likely to score the next goal on the break, just as they had twice done against England.
Argentina had obviously had a bit of a talking to from Maradona at half time and they started the second period at a high tempo, threatening an equaliser early on and coming close with a long range effort from Di Maria that flew just wide of Neuer’s right-hand post. However, Germany weathered the storm well and their well-organised defence proved impossible to break down, with Argentina restricted to nothing more than half chances for the next twenty minutes. In contrast, Argentina’s defence never looked comfortable when under pressure and, as many people suspected before the tournament, it proved to be their undoing.
In the 68th minute, Mueller slipped the ball through to Podolski inside the Argentinian box and he drew the ‘keeper towards him before centering to Klose for the simplest possible finish inside the six yard box. Diego Maradona responded by bringing on an extra forward in Javier Pastore for the hapless Otamendi, who had again been partially at fault for the second goal. However, before Pastore could influence proceedings the deficit had been increased further through Arne Friedrich with his first ever goal for Germany. He was the beneficiary of an excellent run and pass from Schweinsteiger and slipped the ball just inside the near post with a first time shot.
Aguero replaced the ineffective Angel Di Maria in the 75th minute as Argentina went all out for a goal to bring them back into the game but by now the Germans were well in control and regularly outnumbering their opponents on their frequent counter attacking moves. There wasn’t a poor performance to be seen amongst any of Germany’s starting eleven or substitutes whereas Argentina’s stars simply failed to turn up. The rout was completed in the 89th minute when the Germans broke once more through Podolski, who played the ball wide to Mesut Oezil. The diminutive playmaker crossed for the unmarked Klose execute a simple volley into the net and claim his 14th goal in World Cup finals history. The final scoreline of 4-0 was by no means flattering to Joachim Loew’s team.