Saturday, July 3, 2010

Spain fight to defeat tough Paraguay

And so we get a pair of extremely interesting semi-finals after today's results, one side we have an overachieving Uruguay with as much history as anyone else in this tournament playing against what could be described as an underachieving Netherlands who only stepped up against Brazil. And the other semi-final will be super-charged Germany against Spain, who had some difficulty against an inspired Paraguay. Spain have made it to the semi-finals, and it's been 60 years since they last made it back in Brazil 1950.

And another thing I should mention:, Soccer Wrap Up, and a bunch of other awesome soccer blogs and websites have teamed up to create an awesome World Cup Twidget!

Paraguay's Antolin Alcaraz (R) tackles Spain's David Villa inside the penalty area during their 2010 World Cup quarter-final soccer match at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg July 3, 2010. The play ended with Alcaraz getting the yellow card and a penalty awarded to Spain. REUTERS/David Gray (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)
Villa earning Spain's penalty with a little bit of acting
Paraguay - Spain

Paraguay came out and played a high pressure style, they stopped Spain from playing that hypnotizing passing possession game. Spain weren't as crisp and fluid as usual, they didn't get a shot on target during the first 45 minutes as Paraguay created chances of their own which they sent wide, high, or right at Casillas.

With the second half came more tension, the action picked up and Paraguay got a penalty on the 60th minute mark thanks to Gerard Pique's tugging in the area. Iker Casillas saved the penalty and helped stop what could'be been the biggest upset of the tournament. Minutes later David Villa went down/dived in Paraguay's area to earn themselves a penalty of their own, Xabi Alonso had to take it twice because of encroachment in the area, and the second time Villar matched Casillas and saved. Tension continued to rise as the 90 minutes were coming close...

Then, what has to be considered the man of the tournament scored again, David Villa broke the deadlock with his 5th goal in the tournament. Iniesta layed the ball off to Pedro from the top of the area, Pedro smacked his effort onto the post, and Villa followed up scoring as the ball pinged off both posts and went in. Casillas had to prove himself near the end though as he saved well to send Spain off against Germany.

Germany crush Argentina 4-0

I have to apologize for not having either of yesterday's quarter-final match reports posted, I was traveling, and after a 9 hour flight, I was stuck in Frankfurt airport for just under 11 hours with no wi-fi. I watched both games in the airport with many Germans a mob of very excited Japanese tourists, I'm pretty sure everyone knows the results, but just in case I'll post them.

An important thing of note is that Soccer Wrap Up has now joined a World Cup Twidget which is displayed at the top of our sidebar. This Twidget features Twitter updates from SWU and other blogs and soccer websites, and it is all thanks to the people from Be sure to check the Twidget out along with

July 02, 2010 - -, South Africa - epa02234435 (FILE) A composite file picture shows Uruguay's Diego Forlan (L) and Dutch Wesley Sneijder (R) celebrating during the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Uruguay will face the Netherlands in the FIFA 2010 World Cup semi final soccer match on 06 July 2010 at the Green Point stadium in Cape Town.
Sneijder and Forlan will face off in the semi-finals Tuesday
Here are yesterday's results:

The Netherlands defeated Brazil with an amazing comeback to go to the semi-finals, first Robinho early on, but then early in the second half Sneijder equalized with a strange cross/shot which Julio Cesar completely missed. Then Sneijder scored again with a header completing the comeback at 2-1, then Brazil lost Felipe Melo to a red card who stupidly stepped on Robben, and this sent Brazil home as they were unable to come back.

Uruguay were able to stop Ghana from moving onto the semi-finals, a very tight match which saw its first goal before halftime with a long-range effort from Muntari. Uruguay equalized 10 minutes into the second half with Diego Forlan sinking a curled free kick in the back of Kingson's net. It went to 30 minutes of extra time, and in the final minutes the unthinkable happened; Suarez first blocked a Ghana shot off the line with his foot, then he used his hand to block the second effort which seemed like a sure goal. Suarez was sent off and Ghana were given a penalty in the final minute of extra time, Gyan steps up and sees his effort skid off of the top of the crossbar, sending his team to penalties. In penalties, Uruguay missed one and Muslera saved two of them, Abreu took the winning one and scooped it ridiculously to send his team into the semi-finals to play the Netherlands.

July 03, 2010 - South Africa - Football - Germany v Argentina FIFA World Cup Quarter Final - South Africa 2010 - Green Point Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa - 3/7/10..Thomas Muller scores Germany's first goal.
Muller opening goal with a head flick 
Argentina - Germany

A massive match, Maradona's inspired Argentina against the efficient but creative young Germany which in the end demolished a tactically disorganized team. Germany scored right away in the 3rd minute with Muller slightly touching a free kick with his head just enough to mess up Romero into comceding the opener. For the rest of the first half Argentina were stumped, Germany were extremely organized with a 4-4-2 in defense and when it came to them to attack, Podolski and Muller rose up from the wings to cause problems for Argentina with width.

In the second half the match opened itself up with flurries of counter-attacks as both teams played an extremely attacking game. Germany won the attacking duel with Klose scoring the second in the 68th minute, making Argentina's hopes even dimmer. In the 74th Friedrich scored his first ever goal for Germany by stumbling Schweinsteiger's cut back (Schweinsteiger just waltzed right through Argentina's box) into the net to make it 3-0. By now Argentina were broken, Messi tried but was unable to find his first goal in this World Cup, and when Klose scored his 14th goal in World Cup finals from a swift counter-attack, the match was over.

Muller will miss the semi-final because he got two yellows in two games, so it will be interesting to see how Germany will do against the winner of Spain - Paraguay.


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