Brilliant Germans Hammer Maradona's Argentina
Monday, 5th July 2010 at 10:09am
Joachim Loew's young Germany side scored four goals in a match for the third time in this World Cup as they blew away Diego Maradona's Argentina to seal their place in the semi final and created a rematch of the 2008 European Championship final against Spain.
The match pitted together the two most impressive teams in the tournament so far and it was the Germans who made the brightest start when 20-year-old Bayern Munich star Thomas Mueller headed them into the lead after just three minutes.
Pushed on by Barcelona star Lionel Messi, Argentina worked hard to get back into the match but the team was unable to create too many chances against a very resolute German defence.
With a slender lead at half time, Germany produced an outstanding counter attacking performance after the restart.
Two goals from Miroslav Klose, who took his World Cup tally to 14 - one behind Brazil's Ronaldo as leading World Cup goal scorer - and one from Arne Friedrichset up by a brilliant run from Bastian Schweinsteiger swept the Germans into the final four and left Maradona dejected on the sidelines.
In Saturday's second semi final, European champions and pre-tournament favourites Spain beat South American side Paraguay by a goal to nil.
David Villa scored his fifth goal of the finals to take the lead in the race for the golden shoe in a match that paled in comparison to the Germany v Argentina game but still contained plenty of drama.
Paraguay had a great chance to take the lead on 57 minutes when the South American side was awarded a penalty after a foul by Gerard Pique.
Benfica hitman Oscar Cardoza stepped up to take the penalty and saw it saved by Iker Casillas and within another three minutes Spain was awarded a penalty of its own.
Xabi Alonso, who had a penalty saved in the 2005 Champions League final, scored his spot kick but was made to retake it after the referee spotted encroachment into the area by a Spanish player.
Alonso then missed the retake and Paraguay was able to scramble it clear, although a third penalty could have been awarded when Justo Villar collided with Cesc Fabregas.
With time dwindling down, new Barcelona striker Villa hit a shot that struck the far post, rolled across the goal line, striking the near post before nestling in the corner of the net.
Paraguay threw men forward in the dying minutes and Casillas saved from Roque Santa Cruz to send Vincent Del Bosque's men through to a meeting with Germany.