- 2010 in review
- Dave Hanratty’s Winners & Losers – Round of 16 Finale
- Dave Hanratty’s Winners & Losers – Bumper Edition!
- World Cup Daily – International Press
- Technology debate rekindled in wake of questionable decisions
- Germany rout sorry England
- Asamoah Gyan takes Ghana to the Quarter Finals
- Sixty years on, Uruguay look to repeat history
- Dave Hanratty’s Winners & Losers – Day 13
- Lifeless game in Durban sees Brazil & Portugal advance
- Chris Ross\’ Painting the Black
- Corierre dello Sport
- De Telegraaf Telesport
- Dublin Barista
- FIFA World Cup
- La Gazzetta dello Sport
- Süddeutsche Zeitung
- Sports Illustrated
- The cellar fella
- The Guardian Sport
- The New York Times – Soccer
- The Times (South Africa)
- The University Observer Sport
- World Cup Daily
Tag Archives: Özil
Total destruction and total football. All four goals were of supreme quality as was the build-up play in general, featuring flicks and tricks normally associated with Brazil. What was particularly impressive was the patience of the Germans. The first fifteen minutes of the second half saw them very much on the backfoot, fending off a rejuvenated England. Ultimately they played possum and picked their moment before delivering knockout punches to the opposition.
While England have themselves to blame for giving so much room and respect to their old enemy, the Germans earned their praise by playing outstanding football and by being three or four steps ahead of their opponent at every turn. In the end 4-1 was somewhat respectable considering Joachim Low’s men took their foot off the pedal during the final stretch and were content to pass the ball around.
If Germany can match this performance for the remainder of the competition then they must be considered favourites, however it is doubtful that they will have an easier task than this ahead of them.
A star is born.
Benefitted from a poor decision to kick things off before putting Mexico to the sword as expected. One wonders what they would do with the space England afforded the Germans.
Mexico are going home but the young striker has given Alex Ferguson something to think about.
Few predicted they would have gotten this far and the South Americans will fancy themselves to at least make the semi-finals. It’s a pleasure to see the inaugural tournament winners play with such confidence and composure in 2010.
Finally coming good after a quiet start, the 23-year-old Ajax forward won the game with a goal worthy of winning the tournament, made all the more emphatic by being framed by the lashing rain.
The sole remaining African team kept their heads and were worthy victors. It was a shame to see time-wasting and play-acting tactics employed at the end but that’s the modern game for you.
Brazil & Portugal
Did what they had to do, boring everyone to death in the process.
But will they learn anything from it? Not likely. While they will rightly feel aggrieved following Lampard’s “goal that never was”, England had plenty of opportunities to level things and failed to take them. It’s the oldest cliché in the book that goals change games and 2-2 certainly makes things much more balanced, but hypothetical arguments are a waste of time when you are outplayed and outclassed by a superior side, as England unquestionably were.
Since the opening game these players have not played together. In this game they committed footballing suicide by repeatedly straying from their positions, thus giving the Germans the space they needed to duly tear England apart.
While the F.A.’s appointed talking head was quick to assure gathered journalists that Capello’s contract runs until 2012, his body language and veiled statements painted a different picture. The truth is that should Capello get his marching orders, he’s better off for it. Not only shall he benefit financially but why would a man of his pedigree wish to be denigrated by a myopic media and idiotic fanbase that place the blame of England’s failure directly at his door?
The reality is that the England job is a poisoned chalice for any manager. How does one get the best out of a team that fails to play like one? In the aftermath of their humiliation, the majority of fingers are being pointed at the Italian. This is no surprise and of course the manager must accept responsibility (and Capello has) but the real questions must be asked of a collection of selfish individuals who refused to follow their orders and were mauled because of it.
It really is unfair to single out one English player considering they were all abject but considering Rooney was touted as the man to carry the hopes of a nation on his broad shoulders and deliver glory only for him to fail to turn up in any of the four games played, it’s a pretty poor ending to a story laced with optimism, hope and unrealistic hyperbole.
A shame to see one of the only players to emerge with any semblance of credit piss it all away by proclaiming that “Nobody can tell me that Germany were much better than us. Not 4-1 better.”
Sorry Frank but even Stevie Wonder can tell you that.
The ex-Manchester United defender was most certainly not ready for his close-up.
Both of Sunday’s games featured terrible officiating from the men at the side of the pitch. England will debate long into the night about Lampard’s Pedro Mendes-esque “goal” while Carlos Tevez was clearly offside for Argentina’s first goal. The ugly debate about goal-line technology has reared its head once again while FIFA remain stubborn. Perhaps a more pertinent question would be why FIFA didn’t employ the additional goal-line officials that worked so well in the Europa League?
Ran out of comebacks. Their admirable team spirit and work ethic masked a worrying lack of depth. Outside of Donovan, Dempsey and Howard the Americans lack leaders and special players. They simply have not progressed enough since the previous World Cup (where incidentally they also fell at the feet of the Ghanaians) and despite the profile of “soccer” rising in the country, the team hasn’t evolved enough.
Captain Ji-Sung Park wanted a repeat of their semi-final charge of 2002 but it wasn’t to be.
Gary Linker claimed before Brazil/Portugal that anything less than a 4-4 scoreline would give license payers the right to complain. Considering the stage of the competition and what was needed from both teams it was silly to expect anything other than what we got.
Like the French, poor Mick just doesn’t want to be there. Greeting the additional five minutes at the end of the game with howls of derision, Mick exclaimed “Get them off! It’s been awful!”. Poor chap.
Friday saw a splurge of poor sportsmanship. The Brazil/Portugal snoozefest saw Duda and Tiago booked for ordering the referee to send a player off and diving respectively while Fernando Torres continued to endear himself to everyone other than Liverpool fans by pulling off the most embarrassing dive seen on a football pitch since Alberto Gilardino took the piss against Celtic in the Champions League a couple of years ago.
Perhaps Torres belongs in the winners column as his pathetic actions got Chile’s Marco Estrada sent off but El Nino would later tweak his ankle and his game would end in the 54th minute. It’s been a poor showing from the Liverpool striker thus far, and he will know it.
Germany 4-1 England
‘Das neue Deutschland’, the latest incarnation of the German national team routed Fabio Capello’s England 4-1 in Bloemfontein. Two early goals from Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski gave Jogi Löw’s young squad the advantage before Matthew Upson’s header brought England back into the game. Moments later Frank Lampard appeared to have scored a spectacular equaliser. In what will surely rank as one of the most controversial refereeing decisions in the history of the tournament, neither referee Jorge Larrionda nor his assistants noticed the ball cross the goalline. After the break Thomas Müller was the beneficiary of two superb counterattacks from Germany, notching a brace and ending all hopes of an English revival.
Germany started the game at a frantic pace. Mesut Özil, the World Cup’s outstanding player to date, found himself through on David James’ goal after his supreme first touch took him past Ashley Cole. Özil was denied by the feet of James, the first of many impressive saves from the Portsmouth goalkeeper.
James was powerless to prevent Germany’s opener in the twentieth minute, however. A long goalkick from Manuel Neuer reached Miroslav Klose following poor defending from John Terry and Matthew Upson, who allowed the ball to bounce for the Bayern München striker. Klose netted his fiftieth goal for Germany, holding off the challenge from Upson and stretching to prod the ball past David James. It was the archetypical ‘Route One’ goal, completely the opposite of Joachim Löw’s favoured method, but Miroslav Klose is peerless in such situations.
The goal prompted a prolonged period of German pressure. Klose almost scored his second after remarkable build-up play from Mesut Özil and Thomas Müller. The Polish-born striker took the wrong approach, firing his low shot straight at the goalkeeper. Just minutes later, Lukas Podolski made no such mistake. Klose chipped through for Thomas Müller who, instead of taking the shot himself, clipped across the goalmouth for Podolski. The Köln striker threaded his shot from an acute angle through the legs of David James, giving Germany a deserved two goal advantage.
England were shellshocked. The Three Lions had failed to impress in the Group Stage but were in the midst of their worst performance under the stewardship of Fabio Capello. Despite their failings, England found themselves back in the match just eight minutes before half-time. A quickly taken corner was played short to Steven Gerrard. The England captain crossed high into the penalty area where Matthew Upson rose to glance a header past the poorly positioned Manuel Neuer. The goal reenergised England, who for the first time seemed capable of finding a way past a previously unbothered German defence.
They should have had an equaliser. Frank Lampard received the ball just outside the penalty area before turning and half-volleying over the outstretched Neuer. The ball ricocheted off the crossbar and bounced more than a foot behind the line before hitting the bar once more. Fabio Capello had already begun a passionate celebration. Jorge Larrionda and his assistants had failed to give the goal. A cacophony of boos reverberated around Bloemfontein with good reason. Forty-four years had passed since Geoff Hurst’s controversial effort was adjudged to have crossed the line at Wembley, but revenge was granted to Germany.
It appeared as if this terrific encounter between two of the world’s most exalted national teams would be overshadowed by the controversy. The outrage persisted throughout halftime and on into the second half until the 64th minute.
England committed players forward for an attacking free-kick, but Frank Lampard’s attempt was blocked by the wall allowing Thomas Müller and Bastian Schweinsteiger to break forward at breathtaking pace. Schweinsteiger, a mazy winger until two seasons ago, embarked on a staggeringly long run into the English half before laying the ball into the path of Müller. The Bayern München forward, who had only begun his professional career with the Munich club in 2009, was enjoying an astonishing performance and crashed the ball past David James to effectively end the game as a contest.
It soon became a rout, Müller again capitalising on a breakaway. Mesut Özil had been having his quietest game of the tournament thusfar but was able to muster another dash forward. He squared the ball for his former Under-21 teammate Müller, who finished superbly.
England failed to mount a sincere threat after the fourth goal. Wayne Rooney’s poor record in international tournaments continued. The Manchester United striker is one of the world’s most treasured footballers but his performances in this World Cup have been bereft of the energy, touch, movement or precision that characterise his displays for his club.
The final whistle brought the curtain down on an abject failure for England. For Germany, however, what was considered a bright future has become an exciting present. The DFB’s (German Football Association) policy of developing youth coaches and involving players from a variety of different ethnic backgrounds has been inspired. Under the guidance of Jogi Löw, this German team is sure to succeed at international tournaments into the next decade.
The young achievers’ reward for their dominant victory is a place in the Quarter Finals, where they will face the winners of Argentina versus Mexico. Löw himself has stated that he does not expect to win the 2010 World Cup but the possibility is there. With confidence surely rising this German team may not have completed their experimental venture yet.
Germany 1-0 Ghana
Germany beat Ghana by a single goal in an enthralling contest in Soccer City. An unexpected win for Australia means that both teams progress to the Round of 16. Germany will now face England in what might prove to be the tie of the round, while Ghana will play Group C’s winners, the United States. In an entertaining match, both sides played for the win and created numerous chances. Mesut Özil, an early contender for player of the tournament, scored the crucial goal for Die Nationalmannschaft with a scintillating strike from just outside the penalty area.
Both teams, as they had displayed in their earlier games, played engaging, attacking football in the early stages. Both teams seemed eager to soak up pressure and unleash it back upon their opponents on the counterattack.
The best of the early opportunities came when Mesut Özil was played through on goal. The surging rush out by Richard Kingson smothered the Bremen midfielder’s shot before it could threaten his goal.
At the other end, Asamoah Gyan’s goalbound header was cleared off the line by German captain Philipp Lahm. Replays suggested that the Bayern München defender’s arm may have diverted the ball from it’s path but in any case it was accidental.
Tidy interplay between Thomas Müller and Sami Khedira allowed Cacau to get a volley away. Unfortunately for the Brazilian-born forward, his shot bounced into the arms of Richard Kingson in the Ghanian goal.
Ghana only needed a draw to progress but displayed plenty of vigorous intent in the first half but were unable to find a way past Manuel Neuer and his rigid defence.
The teams headed down the tunnel at the break with the scores somehow still locked at 0-0. Germany would need to be patient. They had looked menacing in the attacking third but had thus far been thwarted by a strong performance from the Mensahs, John and Jonathan as well as a much improved showing from Kingson.
The second half began with both teams showing the same offensive ambition. Asamoah was one-on-one with Neuer but failed to adequately control the bouncing ball and could only watch the Schalke 04 ‘keeper get his body in the way. The end to end marathon here was probably only bettered by the phenomenal duel at Wimbledon. Both sides taking turns to attack and break.
When it came, the breakthrough went Germany’s way. Philipp Lahm and Thomas Müller exchanged tentative short passes before Müller, with his back to goal, turned and progressed with the football into the penalty area. He spotted Mesut Özil on the edge of the 18-yard box and slipped a pass back to the Werder Bremen midfielder. The ball bobbled and sat up perfectly for Özil, who unleashed a blistering shot into the top corner. Kingson, who had until then been exemplary, could only watch.
The goal put Ghana in a precarious situation. A goal for Serbia in the match at Nelspruit would doom their hopes of becoming the only African team to qualify past the group stages. News of a goal did come soon after Özil’s strike. However, it was the Soccerroos and Tim Cahill that were celebrating.
With the lead secure and Ghana still posing an accomplished threat to their goal, Germany were content to control possession and the flow of the game. Terrific spells of passing were instigated by Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger, whose transformation from pacy winger to a central-midfielder has been seamless. The importance of Schweinsteiger to Germany’s chances cannot be understated, which is why it was so worrying for German fans to see him limp from the field of play clutching at his thigh.
With Australia holding on to a 2-1 lead against Serbia, the game ended with both Germany and Ghana progressing. The results presented an accurate representation of the group. Ghana will now carry the hopes of the African continent as its sole representative in the knockout phase while Germany have reached the Second Round yet again.
England lie in wait for the Jogi Löw’s youthful squad. The German personnel will look at England’s performance today against Slovenia and have nothing to fear. It should make for an entertaining match. This talented German side will be boosted by the return of Miroslav Klose and could be on the verge of making an unexpected run into the latter part of this World Cup.
The College View’s Niall Farrell was on hand to watch Serbia record their first victory at this summer’s World Cup against a much fancied Germany.
Unfancied Serbia got their first win of the World Cup with an effective performance against a German side unlucky not to equalise.
The first ten minutes saw few genuine chances, with both sides displaying a lack of conviction. One notable chance came after seven minutes as Lukas Podolski cracked a shot into the side netting.
As Philip Lahm arched a dangerous cross into the Serbian penalty area, Nemanja Vidic could only head as far as Podolski on the edge of the box. Podolski hit the ball powerfully with the outside of his foot but it fell wide of Vladimir Stojkovic’s goal.
The match did seem to have a streak of ill-discipline as four yellow cards were issued by the twenty-first minute.
Mesut Özil was dynamic as ever, and had a chance on twenty-one minutes with a header at the near post from a corner but the ball was cleared away by Neven Subotic.
Germany played a pressing game with the emphasis on attack, but Serbia couldn’t find a way to mount real attacks of their own within the first thirty minutes.
For all their lacklustre attacking, Serbia did do a great job of keeping the German attack, in particular Miroslav Klose, quiet. Klose was denied an space to move and the Serbs moved quickly to close down the Germans when they advanced into their third of the pitch.
The Germans had a succession of goal chances in the thirty-third and thirt0fourth minutes. Philipp Lahm played the ball to Bastian Schweinsteiger, who attempted a cross to Miroslav Klose three yards from goal on the left side. Left with no clear shot on goal, Klose was forced to head in back across goal but Vidic hoofed the ball clear.
Klose was the centre of attention again as he charged back and put in a clumsy tackle on Dejan Stankovic. Already on a yellow card, Klose was given his marching orders by referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco.
Serbia used the momentum gained from the sending off to get the upper hand in a match that had previously been swinging Germany’s way.
A free-kick was launched down the right wing to Milos Krasic who crossed to 6’’7’ Nikola Zigic at the far post. Zigic jumped and knocked the ball back for Jovanovic, who was able to finish past Manuel Neuer in goal for Germany.
A frantic finish for the first half ensued as a German corner was palmed away by Stojkovic only to find Sami Khedira. Khedira hammered the ball past the helpless Stojkovic, but it thundered back out after hitting the inside of the crossbar.
Thomas Müller tried an overhead kick as the ball came to him, but the ball was dramatically cleared off the line by a Serbian defender.
Germany came out from half time with a renewed vigour and desire to get an equaliser, and had their first chance of the second half nine minutes after the break. A German cross found Mesut Özil just outside the box, but Özil left it for Podolski to strike a fine shot at goal. Vladimir Stojkovic got in the way for Serbia to prevent a fantastic goal.
Özil’s class was again on show as he cleverly played Podolski in yards from goal with a clever flick. Podolski’s fierce shot again went into the side netting.
The tempo of the match went up a few notches subsequently. On fifty-nine minutes a German attack yielded a seemingly innocuous cross, which Nemanja Vidic foolishly handballed. A penalty was awarded, but Lukas Podolski’s poor shot was saved capably by Stojkovic to keep the scores level.
Serbia reversed the seemingly endless tide of German attacks after sixty-six minutes as Milos Krasic forged a chance out of his charge down the right wing.
Krasic passed to Jovanovic, whose shot came back out off the left post as Manuel Neuer looked beaten.
Nikola Zigic continued the theme of Serbian shots hitting the post on seventy-three minutes, as his close-range shot came off the upright and rebounded out.
Referee Undiano was a major talking point, as his rate of giving both free-kicks and yellow-cards dramatically slowed down in the second half, despite several tough tackles.
Serbia spurned a number of chances to kill the match off, with two clear chances from Jovanovic and Zigic in the seventy-fourth minute wasted.
Germany’s seemingly relentless drive for an equaliser lulled a bit in the following minutes, despite the introductions of the energetic Marko Marin and Cacau.
With less than three minutes remaining, a defensive lapse from Arne Friedrich let Milos Krasic go behind the defensive line and play the ball to substitute Gojko Kacar, but Kacar’s cross went well over the waiting Zigic.
Radomir Antic’s Serbia secured a famous victory through efficient defensive organisation, as well as a degree of luck that Germany weren’t in a finishing mood. The group is now delicately poised, with Ghana still to play Australia in the second round of fixtures. A victory there would take the Black Stars to the top of the group.
Germany 4-0 Australia
Germany’s latest World Cup adventure is off to the ideal start. The three time World Cup winners defeated the Soccerroos by a four goals and perhaps could have won by an even greater margin. The Australians, who enthralled fans en route to a place in the Round of 16 in 2006, must now plan for the game against Ghana without the talismanic influence of Tim Cahill. The Everton midfielder was harshly shown a red card by Mexican referee Marco Rodríguez for a mistimed lunge at the legs of Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The rout was initiated early on. Lukas Podolski’s form in the Bundesliga was a matter of huge concern for the passionate followers of Die Nationalmannschaft, but his powerful finish past Mark Schwarzer in the eighth minute quelled any uneasiness surrounding his inclusion in the starting eleven. The move began with Mesut Özil defying the Australian midfield before sliding a precise through-ball in the direction of Thomas Müller. The Bayern München forward pulled the ball back across the goalmouth where it was met by the onrushing Podolski who promptly opened the scoring with a forceful effort through the hands of Mark Schwarzer.
From that point Germany were the only team displaying any meaningful attacking impetus. Müller and Özil were at their inventive best. The duo, both members of the Under-21 side that captured the European Championships in 2009, and Podolski operated in an impressive three man line behind Miroslav Klose.
Klose’s selection was another contentious issue for the German public. So much so that Jogi Löw was forced to defend the Bayern München Stürmer in the build-up to this fixture after he had failed to instill confidence following wasteful displays in the World Cup warm-ups.
It would have been forgivable to believe that Klose’s dreadful form would continue when he lashed a perfect cross from Lukas Podolski high and wide little more than twenty minutes into the game. Klose’s grimace perhaps betraying a lack of confidence. Redemption was swift. A wonderful cross from the deep-lying Philipp Lahm drew Schwarzer foward where he was beaten to the ball by a brave header from Klose, doubling Germany’s advantage on the half hour.
The intrepid Mesut Özil was unlucky not to add to the tally shortly after. Another dazzling passage of play saw the Werder Bremen starlet clip the ball over Schwarzer only to see it sliced off the line by Lucas Neill. With the first half ending, Germany continued to forage for a third goal. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira combined attacking intent with their defensive duties as they persisted in attempting to force passes through a brittle Australian defence.
Any faint hopes of a SoccerRoo revival were scotched ten minutes into the second half. Tim Cahill, playing as Australia’s lone striker, lunged clumsily at the feet of Schweinsteiger and was promptly dismissed by the Mexican referee. Television replays suggested that the decision was a harsh one.
The red-card any lingering Australian attacking intentions and allowed Germany decelerated the tempo. Captain Philipp Lahm continued to move the ball forward while the Polish-born pair of Podolski and Klose demonstrated the same chemistry that was so compelling in the 2006 tournament. The twosome combined magnificently just after the hour mark before Schwarzer denied Klose, who failed to make further indentations into the World Cup goalscoring record of Ronaldo.
Klose was soon substituted by Joachim Löw and replaced with Cacau. Müller crowned his enthralling display with a well deserved goal in the 67th minute. Podolski marauded towards the Australian penalty area. He laid the ball off tidily to Müller who dragged the ball away from Scott Chipperfield before emphatically powering a low shot against Schwarzer’s right post and into the goal.
3-0 soon became four. The recently introduced Cacau scored his first international goal as the architect, man of the match Özil, squared precisely for the Stuttgart striker. Cacau’s first-time effort beating the goalkeeper and adding a justifiable gloss to the scoreline.
Marin and Gomez were brought on with the day’s business concluded. Jogi Löw is certain not to dwell on the implications of this handsome victory beyond the forthcoming showdown with Serbia, who were outplayed and beaten by Ghana in the group’s earlier fixture.
The 4-0 margin was little more than Germany deserved. The warm feelings generated in the Bundesrepublik by their passage to the Semi-Finals in 2006 may be replicated if they can continue to present further exhibitions of glorious teamwork and one-touch passing. For a side that was so ravaged by injury in the weeks preceding the tournament this performance was an impressive reminder that once a World Cup has started, die Nationalmannschaft will always rank amongst the chief protagonists.