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World Cup 2010

Spain vs. Germany: Match Day Commentary

Germany Spain

Only three matches remain in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and after today's second semifinal, the field for Sunday's final will be set.

Spain's search for that elusive first World Cup title continues, with three-time winners Germany standing in their way at Moses Madhida Stadium in Durban (ESPN/ESPN3.com, 2:30 p.m.). Fernando Torres has been benched in favor of Pedro for La Furia Roja, looking to combat the Germans' width.

Meanwhile, the Germans will be without leading scorer Thomas Mueller through yellow card suspension, though Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose will be ready to pick up the slack.

I'll be providing live commentary throughout today's match. Leave all your thoughts, analysis and opinion in the comments section below. Enjoy the game.

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FINAL – So Sunday will see the crowning of a new World Cup champion. Spain will be making its debut at a final, while the Netherlands will look to erase past heartbreak against European rivals. That's all from me for now. Thanks for following along, and be sure to check back with SBI as the World Cup winds down.

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FINAL – Three straight 1-0 wins, the goal not coming from David Villa. Defense wins for Spain, who shut down the high-flying Germans, who must take solace in a second-straight third place game against Uruguay on Saturday.

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FINAL – And that's it! Germany couldn't get the tying goal, and Spain celebrate. Puyol's goal replicates the scorelines from the last time these two sides met in a major tournament.

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93rd minute – Germany throwing everything forward, but Spain holding strong. Xabi Alonso comes off with Carlos Marchena his replacement.

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90th minute – Into injury time, three added minutes. Do the Germans have enough left? They need to get the ball if they want to do that.

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89th minute – Friedrich intervenes against Torres, in the hunt for Spain's second. Gets just enough, and Spain have a corner.

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87th minute – Spain doing enough to cope with the crosses Germany is bombing in. A Torres-led counter is spoiled with a poor pass.

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85th minute – Down to the last five minutes, and Pedro gets pulled off for David Silva.

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82nd minute – Pedro holds on to the ball too long during a two on one. He squanders the chance by dallying on the ball instead of simply passing to a wide open Torres.

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80th minute – Pique swipes another low cross clear. Khedira comes off for Mario Gomez. Fernando Torres replaces David Villa up top.

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79th minute – Villa takes on Friedrich one on one, but the German defender holds his nerve and the chance is left wanting.

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77th minute – Germany pressing forward. Win a corner, have to throw caution to the wind.

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74th minute – Interesting that after all their passing and possession, Spain scores from a simple corner. Straightforward, and Germany is on track for a second straight third place match.

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73rd minute – GOAL SPAIN! And there it is. Puyol arrives late on a corner, and heads in past Neuer. Nobody picked up Puyol who came from outside the box.

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72nd minute – One goal could be enough in this one, just under 20 minutes to go.

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70th minute – Germany have grabbed the momentum after that chance, drawing a couple of set pieces that Mertesacker can't convert.

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69th minute – Kroos denied! Casillas does enough to save a half volley after Podolski's cross finds the winger wide open in the box.

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67th minute – Game is opening up slightly, with more space for both sides as they press forward in search of a goal.

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63rd minute – Biggest problem Germany is having now: central defense that wins the ball, then turns it over straight to someone in a red jersey.

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62nd minute – Trochowski comes off for Toni Kroos. Another young, up-and-coming player on for Germany.

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60th minute – Klose with a brief glimpse at the goal, though it's only an awkward, twisting volley that hits his shin and goes over.

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58th minute – Crazy sequence of events in Germany's box. Capdevila gets forward and a cross is laid off to Pedro, but Neuer saves his shot. The rebound is controlled by Iniesta, who dances in behind, crosses it right across the goalmouth just past a sliding Villa.

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56th minute – There's still the threat of the German counter, but thanks to Spain's pressure on the ball, the Germans have been unable to cope and have committed a number of sloppy turnovers when in possession.

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55th minute – Villa tries another shot from outside the box, and it's always going wide.

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53rd minute – All Spain from the start, as Germany can't get any of the ball. No chances from close in, however, as the only shots came from Alnso well outside the box.

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51st minute – Germany make an early change, with Boateng coming off for Marcell Jansen. Good move, as Boateng had struggled in defense.

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48th minute – Pedro dances around in the box, and the ball makes its way to Xabi Alonso who fires out for a goal kick.

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45th minute – Game is back on.

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HALFTIME – Spain the dominant side — 57% possession, six shots, but nothing to show for it other than that. The German defense has held up well, dealing with the crosses and reading the Spain passing game well enough.

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HALFTIME – Pedro hammers a shot straight to Neuer for the last play of the half.

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45th minute – Just like that, Ozil gets forward and is taken down in the box. Hungarian referee is unmoved.

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45th minute – One added minute. Germany 0, Spain 0. Likely to stay that way too.

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44th minute – The German size advantage is more and more evident. Spain working the flanks, but can't get on the end of any crosses.

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42nd minute – Dangerous free kick for Spain after a Boateng foul.

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39th minute – Germany with another well-worked move, but Ozil takes too many touches — probably should have shot — and it goes begging.

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36th minute – Spain keeping a high defensive line, and Schweinsteiger looks to find Podolski in space. He can't beat the offside trap, however.

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34th minute – Ozil seeing more of the ball, and to no surprise, Germany seeing more of the ball. Ozil wins another corner, only for Casillas to once again clear.

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31st minute – SAVE CASILLAS. Trochowski lines one up and lets rip, forcing a dive from the 'keeper. Spain deals easily enough with the corner.

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30th minute – Xabi Alonso tries to connect with a shot from distance, but it's wide of Neuer's net. This one's all Spain, Germans have yet to really threaten Casillas.

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28th minute – Podolski trots off after Ramos gets him on the top of the foot with his studs. Painful, that one, and Podolski is back on.

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26th minute – Spain doing well to work the ball down the flanks, but without Torres, lack a target man that can compete with the large central defenders. Beautiful passing and movement, nonetheless.

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23rd minute – Both Capdevila and Ramos are getting forward early against the German defense. Spain has to be concerned about Germans counter-attacking ability.

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21st minute – Spain work a one-two move down the left flank to win a corner. Xavi takes it short, and the ensuing cross is almost turned the other way, but a sloppy German pass kills it.

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18th minute – Germans getting themselves into the game a bit more, though red jerseys doing well when called to defend.

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15th minute – Casillas flaps a corner away, not very convincing but good enough.

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13th minute – Puyol gets a look at goal from six yards out, but can only flash a header well high. Good, hard cross from Iniesta, hard to get a clean shot off it.

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12th minute – Spain looking comfortable, but with few real chances aside from Villa's earlier look at goal. Lacking that target in the middle, as Villa tends to drift out wide.

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10th minute – Podolski will have to get back to help mark Ramos, which he does, blocking a cross for a throw.

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8th minute – Sergio Ramos darts forward, challenging Jerome Boateng. Interesting matchup to watch on the left hand side of the German defense.

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6th minute – SAVE NEUER! Villa gets behind the German defense thanks to a great ball from Pedro. Villa can't get much on the shot but Neuer stands tall for the save.

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5th minute – No chances in the games first few minutes. Germany holding shape while Spain passes it around.

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2nd minute – Spain with the early possession. Suits Germany fine — they'll sit back and work the counter, something they've done so well in South Africa.

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1st minute – And we're off in Durban.

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PRE-GAME – The Germans have the obvious physical advantage — but need to use it in their favor. Spain a squad of smaller magicians capable of creating magic with their feet.

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PRE-GAME – Players are through the tunnel, out on the pitch. Anthem time.

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PRE-GAME – Germany in the all white kits, Spain traditional red. A quick shot of Joachim Low: a bit nervous perhaps?

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PRE-GAME – So what player steps up on the biggest stage? Villa has carried the scoring load, hitting five of Spain's six goals. The inclusion of Pedro will help give them width, but another goal scoring threat would stretch the Germans out.

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PRE-GAME – Big question that Germany has yet to answer: how will they cope with going down a goal? They've only done it once, against Ghana and lost. If Spain scores first, it will be a place that this German side hasn't been at all.

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PRE-GAME – A little over 20 minutes to go until kickoff. If you haven't shared your predictions in the earlier thread, share them below.

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PRE-GAME – Revenge, of course, is one of the themes here, as Spain defeated Germany back in 2008 to win the European Championship in Vienna.

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PRE-GAME – Piotr Trochowski replaces Thomas Mueller, who misses out after a yellow card (his second of the tournament) against Argentina.

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PRE-GAME – Here are today's lineups:

SPAIN

——————-Villa——————–

Iniesta————–Xavi———–Pedro

——–Busquets———–Alonso——–

Capdevila–Pique—Puyol–Sergio Ramos

—————–Casillas——————

GERMANY

———————-Klose———————

Podolski————Oezil———–Trochowski

——Schweinsteiger—–Khedira————-

Boateng—Friedrich—Mertesacker–Lahm

———————Neuer————————

105 comments
  • soccerroo

    Disappointed in the out come of this game but should make for a good final with both Spain and Holland possesion teams that like to attack.

    Like

  • Ben

    It’s not sneaking by when you dominate possession and only give up a couple of good opportunities during the whole game. How nice to see a team that wants possession and to be playing with the ball. Seriously, how can you not love Spain? Oh right, “Kaiser,” well take your glorified counterattacking soccer back to Germany, Hohenzollern!

    Like

  • Versteeg

    Muller was robbed of appearing in the game. His absence did not allow Germany to have the pace to counter attack the way they needed to.

    Shame on FIFA for allowing such a bright young star and one of the tournament leading scorers to not appear in such a huge match for such an innocuous booking…

    Like

  • JP

    In normal circumstances, I’d pick Spain to win it all. But the Dutch have been in raw, lucky form and I’m sure Sneider is going to score from 40 yds out after the ball hits 3 different Spanish defenders on its way to the back of the net….

    Goallll…

    Like

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