Today some championship contenders have to prove if they are worth winning the title.
(to be updated after the second game)
Germany 4-1 (2-1) England
Goals: 1-0 Miroslav Klose (20'), 2-0 Lukas Podolski (32'), 2-1 Matthew Upson (37'), 3-1,4-1 Thomas Mueller (67',70').
Germany trashed England 4-1 in comprehensive fashion at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. England were in the end humiliated by Germany and could blame the referee for not helping their cause with another blunder. Before the match the English media once more used war rhetoric in a match against Germany and it once again hit them hard as Germany demolished England.
Both sides showed a lot of respect for the other at the start, but Germany looked the better side though their initial trust was not rewarded with the best chance for Mesut Oezil in the 4th minute which was cleared by keeper David James. Germany took the lead in the 20th minute as Manuel Neuer's long goal-kick beat the English defenders John Terry and Matthew Upson with Miroslav Klose there and the striker would beat off Uspon and place the ball past David James for his overall 12th World Cup goal. England looked startled and tried to get back, but this gave the Germans space to combine. Klose would miss in the 31st minute, but only a minute later Lukas Podolski would finish off a great move with Thomas Mueller the provider as he chipped the ball over Glen Johnson and Podolski banged the ball in under David James. Germany then fell back a little and allowed England some space as a Steven Gerrard cross from the right was headed in by Matthew Upson in the 37th minute with the German defence not alert enough. Interesting to note Upson's second goal for England and once more it came against Germany. And only second later Germany were lucky not to concede the equaliser as a Frank Lampard long ranger hit the inside of the crossbar fell into the goal, hit the crossbar before being collected by Manuel Neuer. A clear goal, but referee Jorge Larrionda from Uruguay denied the Three Lions the goal. Germany were lucky to take the lead into the break.
The match continued after the break with England pushing for the equaliser. The best chance fell once more to Lampard whose 35 metre shot hit the crossbar. England where increasing the pressure, but their finishing left a lot to be desired, while Germany were looking to finish off the game on counter attacks. And they would do so in style. From an England free kick in the 67th minute Thomas Mueller would combine with Bastian Schweinsteiger, who would play back to the youngster and Mueller would give Germany their crucial third goal. Three minutes later Germany would seal the match and again it was off a counter attack. This time Oezil would get past Gareth Barry on the sidelines and move goalwards, he would square the ball where Thomas Mueller would score once more. England was defeated and they caused no more major problems for the Germans, who moved into the quarterfinals.
Argentina 3-1 (2-0) Mexico
Goals: 1-0,3-0 Carlos Tevez (26',52'), 2-0 Gonzalo Higuain (52'), 3-1 Javier Hernandez (71').
In a repeat of the 2006 World Cup pre-quarterfinals Argentina again beat Mexico, this time 3-1 at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg and again they will face Germany in the quarterfinals.
Mexico started aggressively against Argentina which didn't suit the Albiceleste. And Mexico had the first good chance in the 8th minute through Carlos Salcido which hit the crossbar and only a minute later Andres Guardado's shot just missed the target. Mexico's game was disturbing the game plan of the Argentinians, but that changed in the 26th minute with another refereeing blunder as the Gauchos took the lead. Lionel Messi for once was able to use his pace, found Tevez whose shot was blocked by Oscar Perez in the Mexico goal, but Messi chips the rebound over the keeper to Tevez who pushes in. Mexico protests, but to no avail and their concentration level goes down as Ricardo Osorio in the 33rd minute plays a square pass to Gonzalo Higuain and the Real Madrid striker doubles the lead. Mexico had lost their way and were lucky to get away with a 0-2 deficit. On the way into the break there would be an altercation between the two sides, but no cards were surprisingly flashed by the referee Roberto Rosetti.
The Mexicans hopes of a comeback died in the 52ns minute of a hammer strike by Carlos Tevez which left the keeper Perez with no chance whatsoever. But Mexico wouldn't go home like this as the team showed spirit to try and reduce the deficit and with a little bit more luck on the day could have challenged the Argentinians. Only Javier Hernandez would score for Mexico in the 71st minute as Argentina would move on with a 3-1 victory.