Rabu, 07 Juli 2010

SF: Spain create history, reach first ever finals

In a rematch of the 2008 European Championship finals the odds are in favour of Germany this time, but pre-tournament favourites Spain will hope to overcome the young Germans to reach their first ever World Cup final.

Germany 0-1 (0-0) Spain
Goals: 0-1 Carlos Puyol (73').

History does repeat itself. Reigning European champions Spain once more won 1-0 against then beaten finalists Germany, only this time in a World Cup semifinal at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. This means it would be the Netherlands vs. Spain in the final and a new country name will be added to the list of football World Cup winners.

In a rather tame match, Spain were the better of the two sides on display as Germany never were able to repeat the past performances of the tournament. Spain had more of the game and started off with their passing game as Germany were always one step behind and stood too deep in defence. In the 7th minute Spain could have gone ahead as Pedro played a through ball for David Villa, but German keeper Manuel Neuer was alert and able to clear. Spain continued to pressure, but couldn't find the right openings while Germany only had one good chance through Piotr Trochowski in the 32nd minute through a ground which tested Iker Casillas in the Spanish goal. If one thought that things would change from now, one would be disappointed as Germany clearly missed suspended Thomas Mueller. Germany then had a penalty appeal disallowed on the stroke of half time as Sergio Ramos clumsily brought down Mesut Oezil, but it was outside the box still the referee Viktor Kassai from Hungary waved play on as he often allowed the game continue even when small fouls where committed. Play continued and on the other side Pedro's shot was collected by Neuer.

After the break Germany seemed willing to do more for their attack, but it looked as they were unable to do so against the Spanish tonight, who initially tried their luck with long rangers through Xabi Alonso. Around the hour mark Spain looked threatening, but still couldn't take the lead and suddenly Miroslav Klose had a chance which the German striker couldn't convert. Around the 70th minute Germany seemed to finally open up and get into the game with the team wasting their best chance in the process as Lukas Podolski broke free on the left, played the ball into the middle where Toni Kroos' shot went straight to Casillas. And then Spain scored the winner in the 73rd minute to somehow end all German hopes. A Xavi corner from the left, Carlos Puyol comes charging into the box and heads the ball in past Neuer. Thereafter Spain fall back and allowed the Germans to really combine for the first time in the match, but didn't allow them space on the wings and blocked the middle. Spain could have doubled the lead through counter attacks, but Pedro and Fernando Torres couldn't finish off chances; while Germany couldn't utilise the lifeline that Spain gave them as Spain were to clever in their defending against the rather inexperienced Germans. It ended once more 1-0 for Spain like two years ago and like three times earlier in this tournament.

Tidak ada komentar:

Posting Komentar