Categorized | Sports
Posted by Maria Ulfah
This is the 15th time in a row that the preposterously successful Germany has reached the World Cup quarterfinals, and this is the second time in a row its encountered Argentina at this point. In 2006 the game went to penalties and Argentina's substitute 'keeper, Leonardo Franco, failed to save a single one, while Roberto Ayala and Esteban Cambiasso made life easy for Germany's No. 1 Jens Lehmann with poorly taken strikes. The whole thing ended with a spot of fisticuffs, predominantly involving feisty Argentine fullback Gabriel Heinze.
Section favourites and three-times world champions Germany lived up to their pre-tournament billing by clinching the top position in Group D, but Ghana bucked a so far disappointing trend for Africa's contenders by joining them in the Round of 16. While that outcome might not seem particularly surprising, things could have turned out quite differently during a dramatic final round of matches in which Australia and Serbia both came agonisingly close to reaching the knock-out stages.
Though there has been no shortage of setbacks for the big-name nations here at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, Argentina made light of pre-tournament uncertainty to cruise through Group B with a 100 per cent record. Qualifying in second spot were 2002 semi-finalists Korea Republic, who edged out Greece and Nigeria.
“I wasn’t myself in qualifying but I’ve changed now. How? Now I feel comfortable and happy as part of the squad, thanks to my team-mates and to Diego. I feel at ease; it’s the first time that’s happened. I feel like I do at Barcelona, and that’s reflected out on the pitch,” Lionel Messi, Argentina attacker.