Cape Vier


Ein, zwei, drei, vier,” screamed the astonished CBC commentator Dave Bloom as he watched Germany’s astonishing demolition of Diego Maradona’s Argentina reach its crescendo at a packed Green Point Stadium in Cape Town.

A goal as early as the third minute from Thomas Müller set Joachim Löw’s side on its way to another four goal haul before defender Arne Friedrich with his first international goal and Miroslav Klose with two more completed the carnage. Germany had put four goals past the hapless English in the previous round and had opened the tournament with another four goal haul against Australia.

The last three goals all came in the second half but even though Argentina played just over an hour one mere goal in arrears, there was no point during which the watching world was not in quiet, and then vocal, awe of this Germany performance. This World Cup has already been fantastic at providing us with matches we will still be talking about in two decades’ time, but this one may truly be the zenith of one of the world’s most influential football personalities of all time, Diego Maradona, once the greatest player of his generation and today Argentina coach. He was powerless to stop a fluid and attacking German side who move freely into space, pass securely and find gaps among their opponents’ defence better than any other side. They are superbly coached, skilful and a joy to watch. They are also the best team in the world. And they put the ‘vier of god’ into the man with the Hand of God.

Thomas Müller managed the faintest of headed touches to a swinging Bastian Schweinsteiger free kick. Argentinian keeper Sergio Romero was clearly anticipating more deflection and direction, and had his weight on his right foot ready to take off. The faintest of touches could do no more than glance the ball onto Romero’s planted leg and into the goal for a very early lead.

The Germans dominated the rest of the half with Maniel Neuer only being called upon for one real save, other than to retrieved the ball from the back of the net after four Argentinians managed to stray offside at once. By the time the second half was fifteen minutes old, they had withstood an early post-interval burst from the Albiceleste, and had the game well contained. As Argentina became more desperate to create something, gaps began to appear at the back.

It all turned sour in the 68th minute. Müller though grounded passed to Lukas Podolski clear on the left. He slid a lateral pass to Klose who moved one goal closer to the record number of World Cup goals with  his 13th ever and Germany’s second on the night.

Six minutes later, the Tango finally gave way to the thigh slapping dance as the outstanding Bastien Schweinsteiger skipped through some tired tackles and practically rolled the ball to unheralded defender Arne Friedrich who started German jubilation by taking the margin to 3-0. To their credit, Argentina continued to play football and did not descend into the petulant indiscipline of Brazil during their defeat by the Netherlands the day before.

Klose moved to fourteen, just one behind the great Brazilian Ronaldo, with a fourth one minute from time.

Spain await and on this evidence, in these Germans the world witnessed in awe the birth of one of the great football sides in history to follow the legacy of the Hungarians of the 1950s, Brazil of the 1970s and France of the 1980s in Cape Town today.

Be afraid Spain. Be very afraid of the team that induces Vier among its opponents.

Argentina: 22-Sergio Romero; 15-Nicolas Otamendi, 2-Martin Demichelis, 4-Nicolas Burdisso, 6-Gabriel Heinze, 14-Javier Mascherano, 20-Maxi Rodriguez, 7-Angel Di Maria, 10-Lionel Messi, 11-Carlos Tevez, 9-Gonzalo Higuain.

Germany: 1-Manuel Neuer; 16-Philipp Lahm, 3-Arne Friedrich, 17-Per Mertesacker, 20-Jerome Boateng, 13-Thomas Müller, 6-Sami Khedira, 7-Bastian Schweinsteiger, 10-Lukas Podolski, 8-Mesut Ozil, 11-Miroslav Klose.

My Piqué and Your PK. Iker, Iker’s OK!


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