Sportsball (World Cup 2010), Matchday Twenty-One (Quarter Finals)

Germany 4-0 Argentina

Simply amazing. Every coach from any level, every kid kicking a ball around, every fan needs to sit down, watch this game and realise: you can pack all the stars and heavy hitters you want into your squad. If you don’t play like a team, you will get mauled.

What a second half performance. Hyperbole perhaps but the words “poetry in motion” spring to mind. Lahm, Ozil, Klose, Scweinstigger, Neuar all amazing. The passing, the plays, the crosses sublime.

Messi, Tevez and company had nothing to reply with. Look at Tevez with his constant solo runs and wasted long shots. Compare with the slick, flowing team based moves that resulted in Germany’s second and third. That’s the beautiful game right there. Who would have thought it was Germany that would show it so well?

Argentina failed to get back into the game enough after their early concession. It was a team of individuals out there, who utterly failed to click. Germany’s second was the game ender, the South Americans had nothing left after that. Atrocious display in the face of sheer German class.

This young German team, hardly fancied at the start, has come of age, passed the real trial of fire with flying colors. They made Argentina look like North Korea. And up next…

Paraguay 0-1 Spain

Oh wow.

Boring first half. Spain were poor and Paraguay were cagey, content to bottle up the Iberian attack. It really opened up in the second especially after the truly dreadful Torres came off for Fabregas.

It was spot-kick o clock tonight and it was a referring shambles. Let’s review:

Paraguay has one saved, while four Spanish players violate the encroachment rules.

Villa successfully dives to win Spain a penalty.

The Spanish encroach upon their own penalty and are penalized.

The Paraguayan keeper commits a professional foul on Silva with the rebound. No penalty, no card.

Utterly shocking officiating. It’s getting beyond a joke now. It’s time for FIFA to sit down and talk about changes to be made.

As it was, the whole penalty side-show seemed to wake the dormant Spanish giant up and they piled on the pressure all the way to the end, rewarded with a scrappy, yet exceptional, Villa strike. Paraguay had their chance to level it with Santa Cruz but failed. Spain made it through but can count themselves extremely lucky.

I don’t fancy their chances against Germany. On the basis of todays display, the Spanish deficiencies at the back will be easily exploited by the German midfield and forwards. I think we’re headed rapidly towards a 1974 final replay between the Dutch and the Germans.

As for South America, it’s a shambles. At the start of the knock-out stages many were predicting a complete disaster for the “old world” teams. The opposite has happened. We’re now looking at the possibility of an all-European final.

Prediction Round Up!

Right! – Uruguay, Germany, Spain

Wrong! – Brazil

Staying steady at 75%. Netherlands and Germany are my semi-final predictions.

Sportsball returns on Tuesday.

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