Too Much Too Young Too Fast

4 07 2010

Germany 4-0 Argentina

All things being equal a quarterfinal between Germany and Argentina at the World Cup shouldn’t be an unexpected match up, but this year it was a bit of a surprise. Argentina waited until about the ninth or tenth hour, if not the eleventh, to book their place in South Africa and the German team features several newbies to the national team fresh from a 2009 U21 European Championship, but lacking experience at the full international level.

Germany opened up impressively with a 4-nil trouncing of Australia in their opening match, but for their doubters Australia was an aging team and their best player (Tim Cahill) was red carded so skepticism still lingered. Those doubts didn’t go away when Serbia won 1-nil in their second game. A 1-nil win over Ghana gave Germany the group, but it didn’t give a lot of followers the faith that this was a German team capable of the results of past World Cups.

Ever since Diego Maradona took over the coaching reins of this Argentine side, there have been doubters questioning his credentials as a coach and about his ability to handle a game when his side is trailing and requires a change in tactics.

Argentina got off to a winning start holding off Nigeria 1-nil. They put South Korea to the sword to the tune of 4-1 before wrapping up the group with a 2-nil take down of Greece. With the exception of parts of the game against Nigeria they were in complete control of their matches which is why questions were asked about what could or would Maradona do when he and his side had their backs against he wall.

Besides an abundance of inexperienced players, Germany was also without their captain and arguably their best player in Michael Ballack, So, with Ballack and all that youth what chance did they have? I have written before in this blog about how the former champions of the World Cup keep finding a way to win and with both of these sides it had been that way.  For me it wasn’t a surprise that we had this match up, but for others not so much and when it was all said and done we had answers for one side, but for the other we still had questions.

In the knockout stage Germany got a few people off it’s back with its 4-1 demolition of England, but doubters would still argue what if Lampard’s goal had counted? Argentina took out Mexico 3-1, but what if Tevez’s first goal was called back? Something had to give at this stage.

It only took three minutes for the scoring to start. Thomas Mueller, one of the key contributors to the English slaughter, headed in Bastian Schweinsteiger’s free kick and it was 1-nil to the Germans. A goal by one of the young guns off a set piece by the guy who has more than filled Ballack’s shoes. Germany was doing just fine.

In the 68th minute, Miroslav Klose did what he does best (which is score in a Germany shirt). His last season with Bayern Munich was a disappointment, but he has more than saved his reputation with another fine World Cup goal scoring campaign. Lukas Podolski crossed to the wide-open Klose for a simple walk in on goal and it was 2-nil. People may have had questions about Germany, but when your two forwards have contributed in almost every game like Klose and Podolski have you win. It’s rather simple. Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Franck Ribery and others should watch and learn. That goal by Klose was his 13th all-time at the World Cup moving him past Pele.

Six minutes later, Schweinsteiger moved the ball forward to the goal line before cutting back slightly to find an open Arne Friedrich who scored to make it 3-nil in favour of the Germans.

In the dying minutes of the second half, another of the outstanding youngsters, Mesut Oezil, crossed to Klose in the centre of the crease for a simple chip for his second and Germany’s fourth on the day. A celebration was underway. Klose is now second all-time tied with fellow German goalmeister Gerd Muller with 14 goals in the World Cup, only one back of Brazilian Ronaldo.

Argentina were humbled a day after Brazil’s shock exit and now all the early talk of impressive South America play has all but evaporated. Germany moves on to familiar territory as it is the only country to have played in the past three World Cup semi finals. For those German sports fans under whelmed by the Michael Schumacher comeback in Formula One, there is a successful return to prominence unfolding.




One response

5 07 2010
World Wide News Flash

Too Much Too Young Too Fast…

I found your entry interesting so I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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