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World Cup Daily Recap: Germany destroy Argentina, Spain squeak by Paraguay

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The final quarterfinal match day was supposed to feature a game for the ages and one blow out. It did. Only it weren't the matches that you'd expect.

It was a young Germany side led by a pair of goals from veteran Miroslav Klose that ended the World Cup dream for Maradona's Argentina with a convincing 4-0 victory to book their place in the last four of the World Cup.

Germany got on the board in the third minute of play as a German free kick was converted far post by young striker Thomas Muller. With the Argentines stunned, the Germans exploited each gap in the Argentine defense with ruthless efficiency. Germany added a second in the 68th minute when Klose scored after a fantastic set up and the rout was on.

The Germans would carve up the Argentine defense that was missing its best defender Walter Samuel two more times. Anne Fredrich added a third before Klose added his second goal of the match and fourth goal of the tournament. The German striker has scored 14 World Cup goals and sits only one goal from the goals record of 15 held by Brazilian forward Ronaldo.

On a fantastic day for Germany, there was a bitter sweet moment as breakout star Thomas Muller picked up a controversial yellow card that will cause him to miss the semi finals.

The highlights are below:


In one of the most bizziare games of the tournament, Spain needed a pair of bounces off the post to defeat a strong Paraguay side, 1-0.

It was a David Villa goal in the 83rd minute that put the Spanish into the semi finals. After a shot by Pedro hit the post, the ball fell to Villa whose shot bounced off the far post and near posts before eventually going in.

The Paraguayans sought to frustrated the Spanish throughout the match and earn scoring opportunities on their counter attacks, it was a strategy that nearly put an end to the pre-tournament hopes of the World Cup. Nelson Valdez nearly put the South Americans up in the 40th minute when he finished a goal that was not allowed due to a questionable offside call. Although the game only featured one goal, the game will be remembered for a two minute sequence for the ages.

In the 59th Minute, Spanish defender Gerard Pique brought down Oscar Cardozo in the box for a clear penalty. The forward stepped up to take the penalty but was subsequently denied by a save by Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas. 

Moments later, Spain would get their own penalty when David Villa was fouled in the box by Antolin Alcoraz. Xabi Alonso took the penalty and converted, but the penalty was called back for encroachment by the Spaniards. On the second effort, the Paraguayan keeper Justo Villar made the save to keep the South Americans in the game until Villa's goal.

The victory put the Spanish into the semi-finals for the first time in their history and will now take on Germany in a rematch of the Euro 2006 final.

Here are the highlights:


  1. el,

    It’s easy to say they’re playing poorly.

    They’re playing too narrow. Their defense is slow (much like Argentina’s). Alonso is wasted as a “holding” midfielder. And Torres couldn’t finish if the goal was twice as wide and the keeper on walkabout.

    What’s been GOOD about their play? Other than Villa?

  2. JS,

    I’m well aware that it would require more money. But let’s put this in perspective. How much does AYSO and the other youth soccer orgs make a year in fees? What if the USSF put more effort into tying their player development from the clubs down to youth through that rather than the dead-end that is NCAA soccer?

    Now that’s not all I’d like to do. But it’s a start. It could be fairly easily done. And it’s something that would bring our system more in line with the more successful nations.

  3. I third you secondcity, klinsmann doesn’t get near enough credit for stepping in when all established German coaches chickened out in the run up to Germany hosting the Cup in 2006.

    Klinsi shook up the team, changed its training, playing style and personnel, and came in third. This German team is even younger, and yeah Low was whispering in Klinsmann’s ear back then, but still.

    And then Klinsi’s ‘disastrous’ turn at Bayern Munich? Yeah he was getting stabbed in the back by Beckenbauer and the established stars, but he had the team in second place in the Bundesliga at the time he was canned, which is not most people’s definition of disastrous.

    Anyway, no question this German team continues the style of play Klinsmann put in place.

    And no question Klinsmann has the experience and attitude to take USMNT to next level. If Sunil and USSF would get with the program.

  4. not to defend gulati or anything.. but there is a lot of money in german football the german FA spends 20mio € for grass roots youth football programms and the german pro clubs another 120mio € for their youth academys (upward tendency) every year..
    even if the USSF tried they couldn’t really copy that without some major shift in US sports popularity (and that won’t obviously come over night)

  5. Anybody’s defense is better than what Argentina showed today. When your strikers are the last 2 players between the opposition attackers and your goal, like during the 3rd German goal, you are in deep sh*t. The Argies just didn’t track back on defense. It will certainly be a different can o’ worms with Spain, especially when the they use the full width of the pitch. Hopefully it will be a classic match and the referee will be completely invisible! Yeah I know, fat chance.

  6. I’ve been explaining the same frustrations to my wife most of the evening until she finally told me stop.

  7. I’m sure no German said anything to Tevez, Maradona, Hienze and the rest of the Argentines… but man o man did Argentina disturb some killa bees in the Germans! I thought the Germans would never stop scoring. By now Tevez surely believes Germany is better than Mexico.

    Maradona is off to snort drugs but not before he blames the loss on the officials, the Argentine press and perhaps even drugs. The carnage should be fun.

  8. Spain will finally play a team that doesnt put 10 players behind the ball. Spain has kept possession 68% in the matches and has played well considering they are playing against teams defending at will, how can you say they are playing poorly? Argentina’s defending was horrendous dont expect that result gainst Spain.

  9. as much as I have loved watching Germany play such a dominant and impressive stye, I am really bummed out/pissed off that Mueller will be missing this epic match. He has been one of the top 3 players in my opinion and probably the best right sided player in this tournament, but will be missing the best fixture the tournament will produce because of an absolutely inexplicable decision by the ref. Di Maria intintially blocks a ball over his head with the palm of his hand, whistle no card. Less than 5 minutes later Mueller has a ball maybe graze his upper arm as he honestly attempts to control a ball off his chest. Yellow Card, second in 5 matches, Mueller sits vs Spain. Why can this not be overruled!! As a fan of soccer, it pains me that such garbage goes on in the greatest game in the world. A marquee player misses a tournament for 2 minor infractions spaced out over 5 highly intense games. Unbelievable. Rant Over.

  10. i’d say the 70’s had some good players. Only in latter years were they a bit more straight forward. Too bad Sammer got injured.

    They are looking really good, now. And their defense is getting stronger by the game.

  11. i second you second city. genau, unternehmen!

    Klinsmann is a paradigm changer. Mighty FCB didn’t have the patience (but his successor didn’t do so shabby).

    I’d take him.

  12. Martin Tyler’s commentary on the Germany/Argentina game was as good as I’ve heard. He described the action, the emotion, the triumph in a way that I kept saying to myself, ‘that’s exactly what I was thinking, but put in a way that is so much better than I could ever describe it’. His commentary captured the essence of what was happening on the field in ways that perfectly painted the picture of what was happening. Excellent game, Mr. Tyler.

  13. Amazing how Pumas U.N.A.M. defender Dario Veron held the fort for so long! Aided by Enrique Vera of Atlas and Paulo Da Silva former Toluca, Cristian Riveros former Club America and Lucas Barrios former Atlas de Guadalajara!

    Many Mexicans were rooting for you Paraguay!!!

    I’m sure if Chava would have been there, you would have won!

  14. Germany has been known for being ruthless in punishing mistakes by the opposition. Goalies that don’t clear balls, defenders giving away stupid free kicks, errant back heeled passes in the middle of the field and the short Mexican squad from ’98 that was ground bound….it’s why I love them. It’s a little better looking now with the way the players flow between positions, but even that isn’t a novelty to German soccer (see Beckenbauer, Franz)

  15. After watching the ESPN highlights of Germany-Argentina it became very clear to me how badly the Argentinians were playing and how awful/nonexistent their defense was. I’m not taking anything away from Germany, just saying that any team with a solid defense will cause Germany trouble. Remember, Germany lost to Serbia 1 – 0 in the group because they fell behind and Serbia had a good defense. It should be interesting against Spain.

  16. Soccer is a game for 22 people that run around, play the ball, and one referee who makes a slew of mistakes, and in the end Germany always wins

  17. I KNOW Gulati doesn’t want to put that much power in the hands of Klinsmann, or anyone else. Like most USSF Presidents, he suffers from delusions of knowledge about how to maximize talent.

    He pays lip service to going out and finding more inner city and minority players. But he hasn’t done a thing to make it happen. He’s a money man. He understands that side. Great, get a FOOTBALL man to run the football side, please.

  18. I don’t see Spain holding Germany down. And I don’t see 2 goals in them either. They’ve neither attacked well nor defended well. And they’re not scoring 3 goals on anyone.

    Spain was overrated coming in. They’re still overrated. How many pathetic displays does it take for people to understand they’re really not that good?

  19. Spain will only win if the ref gets conned when they dive for a pen. Germany is a great countering team, so possesion does not mean much. As a Def Mid, Alonso can’t tackle to save his life. Germany is a physical team (which adds to difficulty in tackling them), and since the Spanish don’t like physical contact(even the ref who carded nearly every German player in the Serbia game), we might need to ship 11 Oscars to South Africa.

  20. It started with Klinsmann, but it took a lot of work from the various clubs in Germany and control over the youth teams. I just don’t think Gulati wants to put that much power in the hands of one person (Klinsmann) and I don’t think the MLS clubs want to invest them much in player development.

    The thing that the MLS clubs may not see is how much “regular joe” interest is in the World Cup. Guys who never watch soccer are following the world cup. It’s amazing how many people are talking about the US vs Algeria, ending of Uruguay vs Ghana, etc.

    MLS you have a chance to capture much more of the general public’s attention!

  21. Quite optimistic on the goal scoring front, particularly for Holland. I guess you expect the referee to award a bunch of dives in and around the penalty box for Robben and co?

  22. Spain and Germany would have to play markedly different for a result to not be a German win. I see it being 2-0 or 2-1 Germany. Meanwhile, Lahm is showing why he is such an underrated player. Sure he doesn’t produce the highlight goals of Maicon, but his passing is spot on, and his defending is impressive. I think he’s a much more complete player.

  23. You know who received a lot of flack and bad press for attempting to change that style/philosophy, unternehmen?


    I’m not saying, I’m just saying…I wouldn’t mind his presence in a USNT camp.

  24. (Semi’s)
    Spain 2 – 1 Germany
    Holland 3 – 1 Uruguay
    – – –
    Spain 3 – 2 Holland

    That’s the way I see it falling.

  25. Does this destroy the myth that the only thing the Germans are good for in football is clean tackling and tense defensive displays? (I’ve believed this for a long time myself.)

  26. Spain was lucky to win, they were poor as they have been most of the tournament. Germany 3 Spain 1 book it. I’m still in awe of how ridiculously good the Germans are, and at this point I would be shocked if they didn’t hoist the Cup. They certainly deserve to.


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