Relentless Germany humble Argentina




Argentina 0 Germany 4

Germany brushed aside Argentina with a brilliant quarter-final performance in Cape Town today.

Argentina were buried thanks to a third-minute goal from Thomas Muller and two second-half efforts from Miroslav Klose either side of one from Arne Friedrich.

When Nicolas Otamendi brought Lukas Podolski down by the touchline, the start of what turned out to be a tortuous opening period for the young full-back, Bastian Schweinsteiger curled the free-kick to the near post.

Muller escaped Otamendi's attentions and rose unchallenged.

The youngster should have sent a firm header into the corner. Instead, he got the faintest touch which deceived Sergio Romero, who must have thought he was going to be beaten anyway.

It shot off the Argentina keeper's leg and rolled into the net.

For a good 15 minutes, those famous blue and white shirts were seen twisting and turning in all directions as they tried to keep their opponents at bay.

Klose wasted a golden opportunity to double the advantage when Muller capitalised on Gabriel Heinze's error and squared for the veteran frontman.

On his 100th appearance, it should have been his 51st goal. But he rushed the opportunity and side-footed over.

Too young to be considered for Germany's triumphant U-21 squad at last summer's European Championships, what a year Muller has had.

A harsh booking for handball means the youngster will miss Wednesday's semi-final in Durban, however.

After being hurt so badly so quickly, Argentina at least managed to clear their heads and began to respond.

Germany's defence was rock solid however, their movement choreographed superbly.

Lionel Messi tried to sparkle but he was forced further back to gain meaningful possession, and then surrounded instantly to ensure there was no escape.

Another star name destined to leave South Africa without making a significant mark, or scoring a goal, Messi did his best with the scraps that were offered without making the mesmerising burst or defence-splitting pass his team craved.

On the touchline, Argentina manager Diego Maradona stood, knowing the difference between a great player and the absolute best is their ability to produce when the pressure is at its greatest, as he did in 1986.

Since then, Germany have gained revenge, both in the 1990 final and the quarter-final four years ago.

German skipper Philipp Lahm said he wanted to win today, inside 90 minutes, for his country to finally defeat a big team.

First, a prone Muller stabbed the ball into space and set Podolski free to present Klose with a tap-in.

Then, pushing forward even though the game was won, Friedrich was on hand to finish from close range after Schweinsteiger had cut through the Argentine defence like a knife through butter.

Klose finished the rout with a goal in the closing stages.

More on this topic

Domenech hits out at World Cup 'brats'

Domenech seeks bumper compensation package

World Cup oracle Paul the Octopus diesWorld Cup oracle Paul the Octopus dies

FIFA to investigate North Korea mistreatment claims

More in this Section

'I have a number of options' - Felix Jones contemplating next step after Springbok success'I have a number of options' - Felix Jones contemplating next step after Springbok success

Limerick FC case against FAI settled as club chairman makes 'offer of cooperation' to Limerick UnitedLimerick FC case against FAI settled as club chairman makes 'offer of cooperation' to Limerick United

Frank Lampard suggests Chelsea could be interested in striker Edinson CavaniFrank Lampard suggests Chelsea could be interested in striker Edinson Cavani

Djokovic bid for eighth Australian Open title up and running despite dropped setDjokovic bid for eighth Australian Open title up and running despite dropped set


Lifestyle

SECOND Captains is one of the long-running success stories in Irish podcasting. Ostensibly a sports show led by Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early, and Ciarán Murphy, the former Off The Ball team from Newstalk launched the podcast in mid-2013. two Monday shows are offered for free, with Tuesday-Friday behind a Patreon subscriber model and dubbed ‘The World Service’. It has more than 11,500 subscribers.Podcast Corner: First-class podcasts from Second Captains

The incredible life of Ireland’s first celebrity chef has been turned into a play, writes Colette SheridanHow Maura Laverty cooked up a storm

Their paths first crossed on the top floor of the library at University College Cork in October 2010 when both were students there so Amy Coleman and Steven Robinson were delighted to retrace their footsteps on their big day.Wedding of the Week: College sweethearts open new chapter

Peter Dowdall reveals why all roads will lead to Tullow in County Carlow on February 1Snowdrop patrol: Why all roads will lead to County Carlow

More From The Irish Examiner