Sunday, 11 July 2010

Germany v Uruguay

Germany 3 Mueller 18, Jansen 56, Khedira 82
Uruguay 2 Cavani 28, Forlan 51

For some reason these playoff games are always right little crackers, and this one was no exception. If Holland had lost their semifinal, you have to wonder whether they'd have made a better show of things here than they did in the final.

Mueller got us under way in the eighteenth minute, the first to get to a Schweinsteiger shot after Muslera spilled it. If you're going to spill it, you spill it sideways. He's a bit rubbish, is Muslera.

The next fatal error was Schweinsteiger's. He got caught in midfield by Perez, and the ball came through to Cavani via the much, and highly justly, maligned Suarez. His shot beat Butt, as it were, and Uruguay were level.

Just after the break they went ahead through Forlan. His volley was hit hard, and so accurately it had time to bounce on the way to the goal, and still gave the keeper no chance. For a time, it almost seemed as if they might hang on. It would have been an unlikely result though, and again it was the keeper that threw it away.

Boateng put in a high cross which Muslera jumped for. He got there first and had the chance to punch clear, but just entirely missed the ball, not unlike Cesar for Brazil against Holland, and Jansen was able to head into an empty net. If he'd stayed on his line he'd still have been criticised for not coming for it, but at least he'd have had a chance to make the save. As things stood the ball was in the net before he hit the ground.

It was still two all, and extra time would have been fine with all of us, but Khedira took that away, connecting meaningfully with an Ozil corner after the entire Uruguay defence had tried to do the same, without success. Forlan hit the bar with a free kick in the last minute of extra time, which would have given him the Golden Boot and us extra time, but it bounced over rather than in. Three two then.

The Golden Boot, by the way, is the award for the player who scores the most goals in the tournament. Gary Lineker won it once, you know. This year, Mueller, Forlan, Villa of Spain and Sjneider of Holland all tied, with 5 goals each. Mueller got the title for having an assist as well, while Villa was second, Sjneider third and Forlan fourth on the number of minutes they played.

Forlan did get the Golden Ball, for the best player of the tournament. Dunno 'bout that.

So Germany go home third, with four wins and two losses. They scored sixteen goals, twice as many as the winners and more than anyone else, and conceded just five. I think they'd have taken it at the beginning. Uruguay have had their best tournament since 1970, yet also somehow their worst.

Next, the final.

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