Today features the young, impressive Germany against a Diego Maradona led Argentina, while another South American team, Paraguay, take on an underperforming Spain.
Once again, you can go check out my predictions for the quarterfinals but for now here’s a reminder on what I predicted for today:
Argentina 1 – 2 Germany
Paraguay 0 – 2 Spain
I managed to go 50% with yesterday’s results, let’s see if my predictions hold on for today. Here we go:
Argentina 0 – 4 Germany
After thrashing England 4 – 1 in their encounter, I felt that there was no way that Argentina could keep up with such an impressive German team. I was right. For the entire ninety minutes it was all Germany, the South American’s seemed out of their depth and Maradona just didn’t have the tactical answers to compete with Joachim Loew.
It took just three minutes for the Germans to strike first blood, with Bastian Schweinsteiger curling in a free-kick that Thomas Mueller headed home, leaving Sergio Romero wondering why he’d come out instead of staying on his line.
With a lead in hand, the young Germans went to work and continually opened up space going forward, with Mesut Ozil taking full advantage of the space and setting up a number of clear cut chances. However, with all their pressure Germany could only put one past the Argentineans in the first half.
Argentina started promising in the second half and looked favourites to score the next goal, but Germany slowly took back control of the game and all hope was lost for Maradona when Thomas Mueller, while on the ground, sent in Lukas Podolski who then passed a ball in front for Miroslav Klose to tap home and give the Germans a two-goal lead. The goal was another example of the German’s pin-point passing and their raw football ability.
The German’s looked relentless and just six minutes later Bastian Schweinsteiger danced through half the Argentinean defence before setting up Arne Friedrich in front for his first ever goal at the international level.
Germany was rampant and the rout was on.
Javier Mascherano, who had been tasked to hold off the entire German Midfield, looked lost for much of the game and picked up a yellow card in the 80th minute, but it made no difference as his team looked well and truly trounced.
With just one minute remaining, Germany added insult to injury as young star Mesut Ozil floated in a perfect cross that Miroslav Klose volleyed home to put him second all time with 14 goals in the World Cup. He is now only one goal behind Ronaldo’s record of 15 at the World Cup.
A final score of 4-nil was nice to Argentina, as a master performance by Germany could have easily put ten goals past a lacklustre and uninspired South American side.
Man Of The Match: Bastian Schweinsteiger
Spain 1 – 0 Paraguay
What. A. Boring. Match.
Other than a few moments of madness, this match was a complete bore from start to end. A lacklustre Spanish side failed to capitalize on chances, and an even worse looking Paraguay rarely looked interested in making it into the final four.
Another cap for Fernando Torres and another uninspired performance from the soon-to-be ex-Liverpool striker, it is a real wonder why he keeps getting awarded starts. Maybe the manger likes his new haircut?
The game lacked any energy for much of the first half, and it was a sad display after three other wonderful Quarterfinal matches. Both teams lacked an attacking flair and neither looked interested in moving into the second round to face an impressive German side.
The match finally found some energy halfway through the second, when controversy poked it’s ugly head.
With Spain bringing on Cesc Fabregas to inspire the troops and try and pull out a win, it was Paraguay who finally had the first clear chance to win.
Oscar Cordozo went down in the box after a Gerard Pique challenge and it was a penalty for the South Americans. Cordozo took the shot himself but Iker Casillas‘ got down in time for the save and maintain the deadlock.
The excitement wasn’t finished there, as just two minutes later as David Villa breaks into the Paraguay box going full tilt and goes down softly under a challenge from Antolin Alcaraz.
This time it`s Xabi Alonso who steps up, surely a goal, and sure enough he puts the ball away in the corner and it is… wait… no… the referee has called the goal back for encroachment by the Spanish players in the box.
Alonso clearly shaken now, steps up to re-take the biggest penalty shot of his life, shoots…SAVED!
Justo Villar guesses correctly and dives to make an incredible save; it may well have been the biggest save in his career. Fabregas is taken down in the box during the chaos that ensured after the shot, but the referee isn’t interested in another Penalty it seems.
Giving the fans some time to catch their collective breathe, the game once again slows down and loses all sense of life, until David Villa decides it’s time for Spain to go through to the Semi-finals.
Andres Iniesta moves in past a couple of Paraguayan players, sends in Pedro who crashes a shot off the woodworks but it’s Villa who is there for the rebound and latches onto the ball, a shot that careens off of one post, along the line and off of the other post before crossing the line. An unbelievable shot, you really have to step back and admire that effort.
With a one goal lead and a place in the next round secure, Spain goes back to sleep and the game is done with.
Man of The Match: Anyone that had the courage to watch the full ninety minutes…