World Cup 2010: Spain 1-0 Germany - Full Time Review

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World Cup 2010: Spain 1-0 Germany - Full Time Review

A second half goal from a corner by the Barcelona captain Carles Puyol in the 73rd minute helped Spain eliminate Germany from the World Cup. The Germans had been the most impressive team in the World Cup so far, scoring four goals on three separate occasions and entertaining the crowds in South Africa with their brand of quick, attacking football. However, against a strong Spanish side, the Germans were never really able to assert themselves, and now have nothing but a third-place play-off against Uruguay to look forward to after yet another semi-final exit.

The first half of the game had very little in terms of attacking play as neither team appeared to want to take unnecessary risks. The pressure of the occasion seemed to have affected the players, as the fans were treated to a very uneventful half of football. 

In the closing stages of the half, Ozil had the opportunity to put the Germans ahead after good work by Klose but the Werder Bremen midfielder was brought down just as he was about to pull the trigger. The referee ignored the appeals for a penalty and waved for the play to continue but the replays showed that a foul had indeed been committed, though it may have been just outside the box.

The Germans made one change at the start of the second half as Boateng was taken off for the more adventurous Jansen. 

Spain were nearly put ahead in the 63rd minute when a superb lob over the top by the Real Madrid man Xabi Alonso almost fell into the path of the on-rushing Ramos. The Spanish right-back appeared to be brought down by Podolski but the referee, yet again, ignored the appeals as Ramos picked himself up.

The match was heading for extra time as the goal arrived and it was a set piece that did the trick for Spain. A well taken corner by Xavi was headed in powerfully by his Barca teammate, Puyol. The centre-back was left completely unmarked and was able to make a run and take aim at the goal entirely unchallenged by the German defence. The Goalkeeper, Neuer, had no chance at all to save the goal from going in and the German heads appeared to drop as they realized their fate.

Pedro had the opportunity to settle the game by scoring the all important second goal, in the 82nd minute, after an excellent break from Spain. The Barca midfielder had Torres on his left side for support and only one German defender to deal with, but he wasted the opportunity as he tried to do it all by himself. The Germans were still in it because of that mistake by Pedro and he was immediately substituted by the Spanish coach. David Silva came on in his place for a rare appearance in the finals.

The game ended 1-0 to Spain who head to Johannesburg to play Holland in a World Cup final which means there will be a new World Cup winner, since neither side has won the tournament before. The neutrals will be hoping the final proves to be a little more interesting than this semi-final which failed to live up to the standard that is expected at this level.



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