Germany stunned Argentina 4-0 in a humiliating defeat

July 3rd, 2010

Germany stunned Argentina 4-0 in a humiliating defeat

The result says it all. Argentina were destroyed by a magnificent team performance from Germany who are probably the favourites to win the competition now.

Germany beats Argentina, 4-0

By NANCY ARMOUR (AP)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — No trash talking needed. Germany was just too good for Argentina.

AP

Miroslav Klose scored twice to move into a tie for second on the all-time World Cup scoring list, and Thomas Mueller and Arne Friedrich added goals to give Germany a resounding 4-0 victory in the World Cup quarterfinals. As flashbulbs popped, the Germans hugged and high-fived each other before walking around the edge of the field, saluting their fans.

Injured captain Michael Ballack came down to the field, watching from the bench as his teammates celebrated.

Argentina coach Diego Maradona took a slow walk to midfield, hands jammed in his pockets, while several of his players broke down in tears. It was a surprisingly meek end for the Argentines, whose dominant run had given fans hope this might be a team capable of reaching the final for the first time since 1990, when Maradona led them on the field.

Instead, it is Germany that will play the winner of Paraguay-Spain in the semifinals Wednesday in Durban. This will be Germany's third straight trip to the semis and its 12th overall — nobody has more.

Argentina and Germany have had a testy relationship since trading World Cup titles in back-to-back finals 20 years ago, and it's been downright ugly lately.

After Germany eliminated Argentina on penalty kicks four years ago, also in the quarterfinals, the two teams exchanged punches and kicks in a scuffle. A few team officials even got involved in the scrape.

Germany didn't wait for the game to get its digs in this time, with Bastian Schweinsteiger on Wednesday accusing the Argentines of lacking respect for opponents and referees. Captain Philipp Lahm chimed in a day later, essentially calling Argentina a bunch of hotheads.

The trash talking appeared to be carefully orchestrated, intended to ignite Maradona's infamous temper and distract his team. Or, perhaps, to put the refs on notice.

Turns out, Germany didn't even need the head games.

Argentina has been one of the tournament's darlings, with Maradona's every move causing a stir and superstar Lionel Messi showing you don't need to score to be sublime. The Argentines rolled into the quarterfinals as one of only two teams to win its first four games — the Netherlands was the other — and had been so powerful they never trailed.

No wonder there was a star-studded crowd on hand at Green Point Stadium, with German chancellor Angela Merkel, Mick Jagger, Leonardo DiCaprio and South Africa's own Charlize Theron all spotted in the VIP seats.

But Germany showed that Argentina doesn't have the lock on flair in South Africa.

Its spacing, pace and flat-out stingy defense made the Argentines look out of sorts all afternoon. The Albiceleste didn't get their first shot on goal until the 33rd minute, and any time they appeared on the verge of making something happen, the German defense shut it down.

It was enough to make Maradona clutch his fists in agony, looking as if he was physically pained.

Netherlands shocks Brazil 2-1

July 2nd, 2010

Netherlands shocks Brazil 2-1


PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa
— Don't call the Dutch underachievers anymore.

Not after the way the Netherlands rallied to upset five-time champion Brazil 2-1 in the World Cup quarterfinals Friday.

After waking themselves up at halftime, the title that has eluded the Dutch for all these years is now just two wins away.

"For 45 minutes we went full throttle," said Wesley Sneijder. "We were rewarded."

One of the shortest players on the field, Sneijder put the Netherlands ahead in the 68th minute on a header — a thrill so huge he ran to a TV camera, tapped the lens and stuck his face in for a close up.

"It just slipped through from my bald head and it was a great feeling," Sneijder said.

He was in the middle of the post-game party, too, as his teammates swarmed him when the final whistle blew. John Heitinga picked up Sneijder and slung him over his shoulder as Netherlands captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst, a Brazil shirt in hand, leaped up and rubbed Sneidjer's closely shaved head.

The result was a case of role reversal for both sides.

The top-ranked team in the world and one of the most impressive squads in the tournament until Friday, Brazil lost its composure after falling behind and defender Felipe Melo was ejected in the 73rd minute for stomping on the leg of Arjen Robben.

The Dutch made the championship match in 1974 and '78, lost both, and rarely have lived up to their talent in other World Cups. They did this time, helped by an own goal off the head of unfortunate Felipe Melo that brought them into a 1-1 tie in the 53rd.

"I'm devastated. It was hard to see the players crying back there," Felipe Melo said after emerging from the locker room.

"I have to apologize to the Brazilian fans. I came here thinking about giving Brazil the title, but I'm a human being. Everybody can make mistakes."

He was almost the hero.

Robinho gave the Brazilians the lead on Felipe Melo's brilliant low pass up the middle of the field that the striker put home with a low shot.

But the second half presented the unusual sight of the Brazilians scrambling wildly to find an equalizer.

It never came.

Instead, it was the Oranje and their fans doing the dancing as Brazil's players lay on the turf.

Brazil also lost in the quarterfinals four years ago, falling to France 1-0. Former team captain Dunga was hired to coach the team after that defeat, despite having no previous managerial experience.

"We didn't expect this," he said. "We know that any World Cup match is about 90 minutes. In the first half we were able to play better and we weren't able to maintain that rhythm in the second half."

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk agreed that everything changed at the break.

"We could have lost it in the first 15 minutes," he said. "At halftime, I made it very clear to the players. I told them time and time again, 'You have to play your own game. You have to have patience against Brazil.'"

Said Sneijder: "At halftime we said to each other that we had to improve things and put more pressure on the Brazilian defense."

The Netherlands reached the semifinals for the first time since losing to Brazil on penalty kicks at the 1998 World Cup, and will next face Uruguay, which defeated Ghana on penalty kicks.

Having won all five matches so far, the Netherlands extended its team-record unbeaten streak to 24 games, stretching back to a September 2008 loss to Australia.

On a warm afternoon before a sellout crowd of 42,286 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Brazil controlled the tempo early on. Before the Dutch comeback, goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg timed his leap perfectly to deflect a shot by Kaka that was headed into the right corner of the net.

The one-goal lead wasn't enough. Brazil began to unravel when Felipe Melo jumped in front of keeper Julio Cesar and inadvertently headed the ball into his net.

"We had two players going for the same ball and what happened happened," Julio Cesar said, his eyes filled with tears.

Sneijder's goal followed a corner kick from Robben. Dirk Kuyt flicked the ball with his head to Sneijder in the middle of the 6-yard box and he rose high enough to deflect it into the left corner of the goal.

"It was an amazing game. I think we showed the whole world how we can play," Sneijder said. "Finally we won, we beat Brazil."

Africa's dream over as Ghana succumb to Uruguay on penalty shoot-out

July 2nd, 2010

Africa's dream over as Ghana succumb to Uruguay on penalty shoot-out

By Nathan Gadugah

Myjoyonline.com Ghana

Africa’s dream is over after Ghana’s Black Stars were kicked out courtesy a 4-2 penalty shoot-out by Uruguay.

It was a game the Stars should have won and had only a penalty kick away to an historic semi-final berth after Suarez turned himself into goal keeper and grabbed a goal bound header on the goal line on the stroke of full time- extra time.

Suarez was shown a straight red; and a penalty awarded, but when it mattered most, Asamoah Gyan’s penalty kick took a ricochet off the goal post. Ghana, Africa’s dream was all but gone.

And even after Gyan redeemed himself in the subsequent penalty shoot out, skipper John Mensah and Dominic Adiyiah fluffed theirs and Uruguay were off to a semi-final clash against Netherlands on Tuesday.

It was a gruelling challenge, started rather slowly by the Stars but an electrifying kick by Sulley Muntari in the 40th minute set the stage for an uncompromising encounter.

The Uruguans came back strongly with the equaliser in the second half after Diego Forlan blasted the free-kick strong and direct but Richard Kingson who was jittery throughout the game was caught out of position and the ball zoomed into the top right corner of the post.

The game was destined for the shootout but a last gasp effort by the Black Stars gave a glimmer of hope.

A free kick by Paintsil deep into the goal area of the Uruguans culminated into a goal mouth melee and Ghana was awarded a penalty after Suarez grabbed the ball.

Asamoah Gyan who had early on in the tournament converted two penalty kicks in the tournament failed to make it count. And if his miss was painful, the time he missed it was even heartbreaking.

That kick was to be the last action of the game and if Gyan had scored the Stars would have made history.

But he missed. And when the game went into the wire, John Mensah and Adiyiah missed their penalty kicks but the Uruguans converted theirs taking thenm through to the semis.

Tevez shines as Argentina oust Mexico

June 27th, 2010

Tevez shines as Argentina oust Mexico

FIFA

Argentina set up another FIFA World Cup™ quarter-final against Germany by overcoming Mexico 3-1 at Johannesburg's Soccer City Stadium. Carlos Tevez emerged as the hero with a brace of goals, while Gonzalo Higuain was also on target as Diego Maradona's Albiceleste set up a rematch against their 2006 conquerors.

The Mexicans ultimately proved no match for their clinical South American opponents, yet it all started so promisingly for Javier Aguirre's side, with Carlos Salcido rattling the crossbar with a stunning long-range drive after just eight minutes. There was another lucky escape for Argentina just a minute later, when Andres Guardado drilled in a shot from the edge of the box that spun away from the far post just as the net looked set to bulge.

Maradona's side were hardly lacking in attacking menace themselves, however, and Lionel Messi soon embarked on one of his trademark elusive runs before attempting a chip over Oscar Perez that the Mexico keeper judged well. Messi's hunt for a goal at South Africa 2010 continues, but it was not long before the Barcelona talisman played a key role as another of Argentina's star forwards opened his tournament account.

Tevez might have thought his chance had gone when Perez raced out to block bravely at his feet, but Messi was quick-witted enough to return the ball towards goal, where the Manchester City striker was waiting to head home. Breaking the deadlock enabled Argentina to take a firm grip on proceedings, and within seven minutes that hold was strengthened as Mexico reached for the self-destruct button.

Quite what Ricardo Osorio was thinking when he played a square pass to the feet of Higuain is unclear, but it was a gift the Real Madrid striker readily accepted, coolly dragging the ball around the grounded Perez before side-footing into the empty net for his fourth goal of the tournament. Even with the best part of an hour remaining, it was difficult to envisage Mexico finding a way back into this match, and Argentina could have been out of sight altogether by half-time had Higuain not headed wastefully wide with the goal at his mercy. Maradona's men are capable of scoring at any time though, and from any situation – as Tevez proved six minutes into the second half.

The Albiceleste No11 benefited from a fortuitous break 25 yards from goal, but there was no luck involved in what followed, with Tevez lashing an unstoppable drive into the top-right-hand corner for one of the goals of the tournament. Mexico must have realised the game was up at this stage, but it was to their credit that they continued to attack with conviction, and they should have pulled a goal back on 63 minutes when Javier Hernandez headed over when it seemed easier to score.

The Manchester United-bound youngster made amends with 19 minutes remaining, however, brilliantly turning Martin Demichelis on the edge of the box before rifling a stunning left-foot shot into the roof of the Argentinian net. It would prove scant consolation for the crestfallen Mexicans, but while El Tri return home with their dreams dashed, Argentina can begin plotting revenge against some familiar foes.

Germany trashed England 4-1

June 27th, 2010

Germany trashed England 4-1 and advanced to the quarter finals. England was denied a goal but it would have not made a difference, the Germans were just far superior. England looked so good after scoring their first goal and but the defense let the team down.
English fans are disappointed once again.

Argentina Vs Mexico is next.

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LONDON — It has been called the greatest rivalry in soccer, a history of 27 international matches going back to 1930, and its renewal on Sunday, in the bristling tradition of the competition, has generated some eyebrow-raising and occasionally teeth-grinding headlines in both nations.


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