The young team from Germany, and the experienced Spain advanced through the quarterfinal round at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Saturday. Germany routed Argentina 4-0 and Spain snuck past Paraguay 1-0.
The Germans sparked a goal-scoring barrage in just the third minute of the match when Tomas Muller opened the scoring off a Lucas Podolski free-kick that found Muller in front of the net. Muller headed home his fourth goal of the tournament. The 20-year old hadn’t scored a goal in two appearances prior to the tournament.
Miroslav Klose added two goals of his own in the 68th and 89th minutes to shut the door on any hopes Argentina had of making a come back in the second half. The midfielder is now tied for second on the all-time world cup scoring list at 14. Soccer hall of famers Just Fontaine and Pele are now looking up to Klose and Gerd Muller on the list.
Argentina had been one of the favorites at the tournament after rolling through the group stage, and round of 16 into the quarterfinal. They were the only team besides the Netherlands to win all of their games heading into the knockout stages. Diego Maradona’s team had not even trailed, and it showed against the Germans.
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“I’m as disappointed as all Argentinians,” Maradona said. “To see my country lose a football match is very hard for someone who has worn the shirt.”
Lionel Messi had a disappointing tournament, setting a record for most shots without a goal at 30. He was visibly upset after the match, and Maradona could muster little encouragement for his team.
“To lose like that is very painful,” forward Carlos Tevez said. “We played badly and sometimes when you make mistakes you go home.”
Spain reached their first World Cup semifinal on a late goal from David Villa. The fourth goal for Villa in four games came off a rebound that rattled around the goalposts before finally resting over the goal line.
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“Every game is different,” Villa said. “I’m sure Germany isn’t happy we got through.”
Both teams failed to convert penalty kicks that would have given them the lead. The only other time that has happened in World Cup history was back in 1930 in a game between Mexico and Argentina. That was the first World Cup tournament ever.
Andres Iniesta knows their next opponent is not going to give them an easy match.
“The Germans have played a brilliant World Cup so far,” Iniesta said. “We’re also at the top of our game, I think. It will be a game between two rivals who enjoy having the ball and I think it will be a beautiful battle.”
Soccer sportsbooks have set the Spanish as the favorites over the Germans in their semifinal match at -130 odds. The German underdog line is set at EVEN.