BY ADAM SERRANO
Questionable referee decisions will make the headlines, but the real story of Day 17 of the World Cup was the continued dominance of a pair of traditional soccer powers who will now meet for a date in the semifinals on the line.
Much like their CONCACAF brethren north of the border, Mexico's World Cup hopes were ended for a second consecutive tournament the same nation as Argentina defeated El Tri, 3-1 thanks to a pair of goals by Carlos Tevez.
Argentina opened the scoring in the 26th Minute when after a goal scramble, Lionel Messi played a ball into Tevez who looked three yards offside. Behind the defense, El Apache was able to place the ball into the back of the net. The Mexican team angrily approached referee Roberto Rossetti who conferred with his assistants, but eventually decided that the goal would stand. With the Argentines taking the lead in a suspect manner, Mexico seemed to unravel and it was down hill from there for El Tri.
Argentina would be able to pick up on the mental break down of the Mexicans and quickly added a second goal in the 31st minute when Gonzalo Higuain capitalized on a Ricardo Osorio error. Osorio fired a weak pass that Argentine cut off and easily placed it in the back of Oscar Perez's net. The South Americans put the game away for good when Carlos Tevez fired an absolutely marvelous shot from 25 yards out into the top corner of the Mexican net to make the score 3-0.
Chicharito Hernandez would score his second goal of the tournament in the 70th minute, but it wasn't enough for El Tri as Argentina advanced to the Quarterfinals.
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Muller stars as Germany defeats England 4-1 amid ref controversy
A referee's decision will be talked about for years in England, but it was the play of young Thomas Muller that helped give Germany a convincing 4-1 victory over England and a spot in the Quarterfinals.
The 20-year-old forward scored a pair of goals in the second half to go with a goals by Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski. The Germans dominated the match, but for a 59 second span their was hope for England.
A Matthew Upson header off a Steven Gerrard free kick in the 37th minute gave the English hope after spotting Germany a pair of goals to begin the match. Only a few seconds later, the English appeared to equalize when Frank Lampard fired in a shot that appeared to bounce inside the net of German Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The German 'keeper quickly played the ball down field and referee Jorge Larrionda signaled play on.
With Lampard's goal disallowed, boos from scores of England fans rained down on the field at the half. England came out of the locker room lethargic while the Germans pressured a flat English defense. With the English rattled, it was Muller's time to shine as the young striker would quickly put the game away.
Off an errant English free kick, the Germans led a counter down the length of the field with Muller being the recipient of the goal. It was a moment of brilliance for the fourth goal when Mesut Ozil marched down the field and played it across the goal mouth to Muller who smashed in his second goal of the match.
The loss was England's worst in World Cup competition.
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