The World's Blog: Day 17

Die Mannschaft and Argentina machines roll to a meeting in the quarterfinals, dispatching England and Mexico to their respective corners of the World.

Germany 4, England 1

In my last blog i had mentioned how this particular game was going to be the 'mother of all battles' and it truly lived up to expectations. What a game of football it was. It had everything, goals, fouls, controversial decisions, fantastic saves, defensive errors and so on.

In the end one team had to win, i am just glad it was Germany. Simply put it, Germany outclassed, outplayed and outsmarted the English. It was a brilliant team effort and a badly needed one too after a loss to Serbia and less than convincing win against Ghana.

Once again coach Loew stuck to the tried and trusted, which was a good decision and with Miroslav Klose back, Germany got back the spark it was missing. The first goal was less a defensive error and more to do with Klose's brilliance. I love how this man does more for country than for club. Podolski's goal was unbelievable too,  at one point i was sure he was going to miss from a tight angle. Fortunately, he did not, highlighting once again whata formidable force Germany is in big tournaments and how they step it up a notch or two versus the big teams.

The other two goals were brilliant as well,on the counter attack with sublime finishing. To be fair to England, the disallaowed goal was infact a goal. But regardles, Germany would have won. I hope this does not become an excuse for the English. I hope they recognise and give due credit.

Our next game is against the might Argentinians, they are a brilliant team with a host of top class players. On my visit to table mountaint earlier today, one Argentinian fan came up to me and said "My (Germanys) days in the World Cup are numbered" A bit overconfident i think, but we will see what happens. For now, let us enjoy and celebrate this amazing feat and let saturday come. Its a repeat of the QF's of the 2006 World Cup, lets hope even the result repeats itself.

England Germany, one of the biggest rivralries in international football. A rivalry with so much history on and off the field and the latest edition would be settled one way or another today in Bloemfontaine.

The build up had been full of talk of penalty shoot outs but in the end it would be another of the skeletons in the England Germany world cup closet that would return to haunt the nation.

44 years on there would be no Russian linesman to decide whether a goal bound effort had crossed the line.
The increased number of cameras clearly proved that Lampards chip was at least a metre over the line but the referee and linesman felt differently.

Would this decision have changed the result? My brother seems to think so but as powerful as momentum is poor defending can easily out do it, and England were certainly displaying enough poor defending for several world cup exits. Time after time German attackers were allowed to run freely and had they been even more clinical it could have been a bigger scoreline. That said Neuer pulled off a wonder save from Lampard and crossbar was rattled before the 3rd strike from Moller which could have redirected the course of this game.

And so another World cup goes by with the so called 'golden generation' barely making a whimper. It was a poor tournament for thr England team and the inquests wont be pretty with plenty of dirty linen to be aired over the next few weeks.

The nationalistic members of our society will be calling for Fabio to resign and be replaced by an English manager while others will want a clean out of the old guard and younger players brought through.

What i'll be doing though is forgetting our performances and trying to enjoy the rest of the tournament and the hopefully brilliant and exciting football on show.

Best of luck to the rest ofhe teams, particularly Spain as i have Spanish friend who i have enjoyed watching their games with or my sweepstake teams, Ghana and Holland.

I'm still feeling a Brazilian win tho as i feel they just know how to win World cups.

Argentina 3, Mexico 1

Attack, attack, attack- this is what La Albiceleste have done best in this World Cup. Tévez, Higuaín and Messi lead a front line in a war against rival Mexico for the right to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals. And how could it be referred to as anything but a war? Mexico dropped its captain, Rafael Márquez, back to defense in order to counter Argentina's prolific offense, and specifically Lionel Messi- his teammate at Barcelona. Both teams and legions of fans inside Soccer City belted out their respective national anthems, as if to intimidate the other side. Intimidation saw Lionel Messi on the ground four times in the first fifteen minutes, writhing in pain and awaiting cards that never came. Mexico pushed, and Argentina looked stunned, unaware the type of aggression the Mexicans possessed- they didn't want a repeat of four years ago, where Argentina beat them and advanced, winning 2-1. The Argentines were caught off guard, a trait fans knew all too well during the qualifying stage, where they qualified fourth out of a possible five from South America. With controversial coach Diego Maradona at the helm, fans of the group B champions worried if he had prepared his team for the task at hand. Controversy also saw Argentina take the lead, and from the 25th minute on, show their next target, Germany, what to expect from an unbeaten and unchallenged team.

When Lionel Messi released the ball off of the outside of his left foot, freeing Tévez down the middle of the field, it seemed inevitable Argentina would take a 1-0 lead. As the Mexican keeper left his line, sliding forward and absorbing the ball into his chest, it looked like Tévez was denied. Not so fast- the ball would fumble back to Messi, which he would flick forward to a clearly offside and awaiting Carlos Tévez, who finished with a sharp header for a 1-0 lead. For once, the replay of a controversial decision was shown inside Soccer City, and as the referee approached his assistant on the far side line, tension filled the air- would the assistant recognize his mistake? Would the momentum shift Mexico's way, or would the gaffe extinguish Mexico's early fire and passion- which included two shots that beat keeper Sergio Romero, neither, luckily, for a goal. Tévez' goal stood, and shortly thereafter Mexico would unravel with a series of repugnant fouls and unintelligent play- capped off by another mental error that Argentina, and Gonzalo Higuaín, would capitalize on, sealing their trip to the quarterfinals.

With La Albiceleste leading 1-0 in the 33rd minute, the contest was still up in the air. It was at this point the Argentines showed they simply wanted the win more. Ricardo Osorio, a Mexican defender, received the ball from his right and looked left to give the ball away. As soon as the ball left his foot, everyone watching knew it to be a critical mistake. One Gonzalo Higuaín, already with a hat trick this World Cup, would receive the ball and score his most remarkable goal yet. As Higuaín approached the keeper, Osorio flew in from his previous position, determined to redeem his mistake. All over Higuaín's back, he pulled and tangled at the Argentine, almost pleading to get the ball back. Higuaín shook Osorio off, then, like it was glued to his right foot, pulled it back to his left, away from the keeper, and finished on the ground. It was a goal of sure will, and pure beauty. In the 52nd minute Tévez would strike again with a right footed missile from 27 yards out into the upper right hand corner. This goal, off a Mexican deflection, was created by Carlos' will (and perhaps visions of grandeur) to take on two opposing defenders without regard for or of the opposition. La Albiceleste simply wanted it more. The route was on, and Argentina, now with four wins in four chances and the best front line in all of soccer, are primed to move on to the round of eight.

While the win was convincing, it wasn't without concerns. Sergio Romero, Argentina's inexperienced keeper, looked unsure of himself at times. Mexican strikers routinely beat Romero, especially early on, with unlucky results. Gabriel Heinze saved what surely was a goal, heading the ball off his own goal line, which saw Romero out of position and simply beaten. Javier Hernández' goal in the 71st minute was cheaply defended, as Romero held his ground in between the posts, refusing to cut down the angle, allowing for an all too easy ball into the upper left corner. Aside from the Romero miscues, Argentina looked impressive, albeit without a goal from Lionel Messi- again. Zero goals in four matches isn't what Argentina fans expected from their star coming into this World Cup, but a trip to the quarterfinals is a trade worth making when the Argentines play as they have thus far. For a team that has played near flawless football to this point, it seems anything but a win in their next match is unacceptable. Saturday, the German offense, which scored four goals on England today, could match Argentina's offensive fire power, creating an intriguing and high scoring matchup the world will love to see. A loss next weekend would be unacceptable, but what else do you expect for a nation who accepts nothing less than a title every four years? Next Saturday is just another step in a quest to recapture World Cup glory, and if today was any indication, Die Mannschaft will need to bring their best to beat La Albiceleste, who's now 4-0-0 in this World Cup- all without a goal from the best player in the world. Scary, isn't it?

Alberto Santiago
Username: IamSoundersFCFan

I would like to start by sharing my frustration with the wonderful people at FIFA…there are no words to express my dislike of FIFA officials.

Enough said on that topic, except, I would also like to say I am a bit angry for the lousy calls against the USA and England.  There were a few goals that should have stood.  This has been by far the worst officiating the World has ever witnessed and FIFA has yet claim accountability.

Since qualifying to the Round of 16, I knew we were coming in as the underdogs, nevertheless I knew we had a shot if we struck the first goal.  I was proud of El Tri for being the offensive threat.  El Tri looked dangerous and came within a inches from making contact with the back of the net.  We fought hard during the first minutes, until once again, thanks to the wonderful people at FIFA, gave Argentina a gift-of a goal.  It was mentally and emotionally hard after that call and it showed on the field. There is no way to come back from that mistake and bad call.  We had a great second half and got a great goal from Chicharito.  It was just what I needed and had asked.  At least we went down swinging.

I believe the game would have been different or perhaps a bit closer contest.

Losing is never easy.  I had my heart broken yesterday when the USA lost to Ghana.  Today, El tri lost.  My mother shed a few tears.  I will probably do the same.  In the end, Argentina showed they were the better team and I accept the defeat.  I am proud of El Tri.  Al least we defeated France.

Good luck to Argentina and Ghana.

It is going to be another long four years but it will be worth the wait.  El Tri, I will see you in Brazil in 2014.

Viva mi querido Mexico.