A late winner from Sami Khedira, and a missed chance by Diego Forlan made the Germans the third place finisher at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Uruguayans fell short of third place, but take pride home to South America by finishing higher than soccer experts had predicted. The Germans leave South Africa with some consolation after losing in the semifinal to Spain 1-0.
Thomas Muller struck first for Germany just before the 20 minute mark on a rebound from a Bastian Schweinsteiger shot. Fernando Muslera mishandled the shot and left himself helpless to block Muller’s putback.
Edinson Cavani leveled the match at one goal a piece in the 28th minute on a break away started when Schweinsteiger lost the ball in midfield. Luis Suarez, who was booed all night by the fans, played a beautiful ball to Cavani. The striker took the ball down to the German net to keep the Uruguayans in the fight.
Just after halftime, Forlan showed why he has been one of the most talked about players at the World Cup. Egidio Arevalo played the ball into the middle of the German penalty area, and Forlan bounced it into the German goal off a single volley. The commentators couldn’t help but marvel at the skill shown by Forlan.
German fans hung their heads in disbelief as they wondered where their early lead had gone. Jerome Boateng, half-brother of Ghana’s Kevin-Prince Boateng, made a break down the right side and hit a 30-yard cross to the far post where Marcel Jansen was waiting to bring his team level. The German fans cheered as his header found the back corner of the Uruguayan net.
With the rain swirling, both teams opened up an ebb and flow that showed how teams can play if they really spread the field. Mezut Oezil stepped up to take a corner kick in the 82nd minute. Waiting for the delivery was Khedira, who took the place of the injured captain Michael Ballack. The Uruguay defense failed to clear the ball, and Khedira headed the winner home.
Forlan had a chance to tie the game on the last kick of the game when he sent a free kick crashing against the German goalpost. The forward is known for delivering with clutch goals, but couldn’t convert on the rain soaked pitch. The fourth place finish is more than what Forlan and the Uruguayans could have asked for.
“Obviously it’s something spectacular to be among the top four,” said Forlan. “If someone would’ve asked us at the beginning, we would’ve liked it. It’s something positive.”
The final match of the tournament will take place Sunday afternoon, and feature European soccer powerhouses Spain and The Netherlands. La Roja just sneaked by the Germans 1-0 in the semifinals, and The Netherlands powered past Uruguay 3-2.
Soccer sportsbooks have set the Spanish as the favorites to win the World Cup final at +105 odds. The Netherlands are set as the underdogs at +255 odds, and the over/under for total goals scored in the match is set at two.