The future is now for Germany, their emerging young side was seen as one for the Euros in two years and the World Cup in four. Well look out they are impatient.
Argentina 0, Germany 4
There was no council notice, no early call, the demolition crew started from the kick off. Sweinsteiger may be a writer’s nightmare but what a player. His floated free kick after three minutes found Mueller who headed down past the flailing leg of keeper Romero. Mueller set up Klose soon after but his shot couldn’t find the target. Messi couldn’t get into the game, Sweinsteiger had him in his pocket and Argentina were out marked and out fought.
The half time mauling from Maradona seemed to wake Argentina up and they produced something nearer their best play. Di Maria let fly from just outside the box and saw the ball go wide, Tevez took on Messi’s creative mantle and forced good saves out of Neuer. The Germans soaked it all up and then sprung forward, Podolski raided down the left and squared for Klose who had the easiest of finishes for a 2-0 lead. That man Sweinsteiger got in on the act also choosing the left channel before laying the ball on for Freidrich. Ozil was having a quiet game by his standards but put in a telling cross to give Klose a last minute goal to complete the rout.
Paraguay 0, Spain 1
Maybe Paraguay are not the flashiest team but they have steel and quick forwards and they were straight at Spain from the off. Santana warmed Casillas” hands in the first minute and a wild free kick from Morel should have been a lot closer. Torres again looked sluggish and Paraguay wouldn’t let Spain settle on the ball to play their crisp passing game. Alcaraz couldn’t quite connect with a free header from a smart free kick as Spain struggled to throw off the chains. Xavi had a quick witted attempt, turning and firing in a long shot that went over the Paraguay goal and a Capdevila free kick at the other end was cooled down as it took a deflection for a soft pick up from Villar. The South Americans finished the side stronger, Valdez put the ball in the Spain net but was just offside and then he curled a shot just wide before the break.
Again Spain toiled in the second half, Torres was off again, this time for Fabregas and on the hour the game exploded into life. Piquet held Cardozo and wouldn’t let go of his arm, a clear penalty for Paraguay but Cardozo hit it softly and Casillas saved. Villa broke away and Alcaraz clattered him down in the other box to give Spain an instant spot kick reply. Alonso despatched the ball into the net but the ref made him take it again and this time Villar saved. Spain used that to spur them on, Iniesta and Fabregas made a great incisive raid that Villar ended. It was looking like extra time but Iniesta conjured up a late attack, sub Pedro could only hit the post from his pass but Villa was on hand to score off the inside of the post. Spain were through but it was hard going.