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 Заголовок сообщения: 4-0. July 3, 2010. FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals. Germany and
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4-0. July 3, 2010. FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals. Germany and Argentina in Cape Town, South Africa. We turned up for a football match. We witnessed a massacre. Four years and 10 days later, the re-match. This time its for the FIFA World Cup. I could have sworn I witnessed the future World Cup winners that day. I just wouldnt have thought they would have had to wait four long years for the chance to be crowned World Champions. Germany was that good. Argentina was not even close in any facet of the game. German midfield dominance, well-worked goals, straightforward finishes and Lionel Messi was a ghost. The better team beat the best player that day. There is very little reason to believe the script will be flipped Sunday. The Maracana is an appropriate venue for a Germany-Argentina re-match as such. Few are backing Argentinas chances, and rightfully so. Likewise, few considered Uruguay worthy challengers to Brazil in the 1950 World Cup final; the last World Cup hosted by Brazil and last final at the Maracana. Uruguay shocked the world that day. 1-0 was the final. Argentina will look to do the same, which would deliver a similar blow to their rival, Brazil. Winning a World Cup on Brazilian soil while the natives exposed as fraudulent tournament contenders would cast an even deeper cut to the already gaping wounds felt by the nation. Brazilian support of Germany will be popular amidst the sea of blue and white that has descended upon Rio. Other than venue, what has changed in four years since the German demolition of Argentina in Cape Town? Many will argue Argentina has a better team make-up and proper tactical leadership under head coach Alejandro Sabella. The team plays much better defensive football, having not conceding since the group stage. Messi is the star and has done the heavy lifting. Javier Mascherano has been a pain in the butt (pardon the pun) proving his worth as a standout defensive midfielder. Goalkeeper Sergio Romero has made timely saves, namely against Iran helping set the stage for Messis late magic. The rest of the team has been surprisingly average considering they have not trailed in the competition. You can only beat whom you play. Theres no question Argentina has had the easiest road to Rio. If Angel Di Maria (thigh) is fit to play, which is a serious question mark, six starters will return from the Argentina XI that was embarrassed in 2010. No Di Maria would be a significant loss, as the winger serves as the best link to Messi, opening up space and adding much needed pace and quality down the wings. Sabella has no ready-made replacement for Di Maria – a worry among many for the Argentine tactician. As collective, its indisputable this team is better than the 2010 edition. They are even better than they were on June 15 when they started their Brazilian adventure at the Maracana against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sabella switched from a 3-5-2 he started the tournament to a more traditional 4-3-3, with Messi dropping deep from time to time to get more involved in the play. The shape has been better, and has been good enough to grind out results, but two goals in the knockout rounds doesnt flatter. Belgian Coach Marc Wilmots called Argentina ordinary after defeat in the round of 16. Although this assessment is a little harsh, it would be difficult to find reason to shower the South Americans with praise either. Hope remains an improved performance has been saved for the grandest of stages. And theres always a chance the four-time Ballon dOr winner can dig deep to unleash some more of his special, game-changing kind of magic. But other than that, there is very little reason to believe Argentina will truly concern the German powerhouse. Reaching for historical arguments such as no European team has ever won a World Cup in the Americas fails to hold water. More recent evidence is more poignant than an antiquated argument from previous eras when travel and continental exposure of players was much more limited. Bottom-line is this World Cup is Germanys to lose, not Argentinas to win. What has changed for Germany in four years? They have become better as a team and their main challenger, Spain, is long gone at this tournament. Germany has been the best team at this World Cup and its hardly an argument. Bigger picture, if it were not for Spains dominance over the last six years, we would be discussing German success as glowingly as we do the tiki-taka. Success has come through familiarity and shared adversity. Glory hasnt come easy for Die Mannschaft in recent years, but the fruits of their labour, patience and cultivation of a collective identity are about to be rewarded. I flew to Durban a few days after Germanys masterclass against Argentina in 2010 for the semi-final against Spain. Just as they schooled Argentina earlier that week, Germany was taught a footballing lesson that day, being made look to be second-class citizens in a 1-0 loss. The gap in quality and performance was much greater than the scoreline. Spain dominated the ball and Germany couldnt touch it. There wasnt even a chance to unleash their daunted and exceptionally clinical counter-attack. Carles Puyols goal in the 73rd minute signaled No Mas. It was a thorough beating, one not to be forgotten. Nor was lesson taught by Spain in the EURO 2008 final in Vienna. It was also a 1-0 scoreline, but Germany only managed one shot on target. The disappointment in 2010 was ever more painful because the sizeable gap in finished product between nations remained. It may have been a younger German team in South Africa, but that didnt matter. The bar had been set and Germany again failed to clear it. Frustration continued into 2012, with this time Italy proving too difficult to breakdown in a 2-1 semi-final loss. Close, but not there yet. Germany didnt panic. Joachim Loew remained as head coach, a position he has held since 2006. Patience has been exercised as a young, talented, and unified generation of German footballers has been ushered through the system. It starts at the developmental level. Neuer, Howedes, Boateng, Hummels, Khedira, and Ozil all started for the 2009 UEFA European U-21 Championship side. They have grown and moved into the senior ranks together. Nine players, including five of the aforementioned names, which beat Argentina in 2010, will start Sunday. There will be eight returning starting players from the setback in Warsaw two years ago. Its remarkable consistency for a country with plenty of tactical and positional options. And it breeds success. The familiarity comes at the club level as well. Six players who will start in the World Cup final were also part of the Bayern Munich team who suffered home heartache in the Champions League final against Chelsea in 2012. They were clearly the better side on home soil at the Allianz Arena that day. Penalties undid them. Another lesson well taken. A year later, disappointment turned to elation with a Champions League final victory at Wembley over fellow German side Borussia Dortmund. A culture of winning, cultivated. The learning curve continued this month in Brazil. A late injury to Marco Reus during pre-tournament preparations meant a change of thought. Mario Gotze was the preferred replacement. The decision to start Philipp Lahm in central midfield was also made, rather than having the captain as menace in a freelance right-back role. After getting off to a flier in a 4-0 victory over 10-man Portugal, the plaudits became muted after three unspectacular performances against Ghana, the United States and Algeria. Germany looked particularly unimpressive against the latter, with the North Africans taking them to extra time before being disposed. The back four was flat, slow and flawed. And a more direct approach in attack was required to get the most out of all the superior movement off the ball. A tournament-ending injury to the average Shkodran Mustafi forced Loews hand, finally deploying Lahm at right back. The dominant three-headed midfield of Schweinsteiger, Kroos, and Khedira was re-united. And the lone remaining player from Germanys 2002 World Cup final appearance, Miroslav Klose entered the starting XI, preferred over Gotze, to hold the high line. Each move worked to perfection. Germany out-classed a previously impressive France team before running all over hosts Brazil in a shock 7-1 result. Klose set a new record for World Cup goals (16) along the way, and the more youthful Thomas Muller, 24, scored his fifth of the tournament, and 10th overall in World Cup play. The questionable backline has looked rocked solid with Mats Hummels leading the line. And no goalkeeper has looked more composed, confident and positionally sound than the impeccable Manuel Neuer. We can talk up individual performances all we like. We tend to do that in sports. Its an easier conversation to have. But in truth, this German team is better discussed as a sum of all parts. There is exceptional balance in the current team. Typical German football traits of size, strength and efficiency are all plain to see. Its the imaginative, football intelligence side thats much more impressive. One needs look no further than Germanys first goal of the tournament. The Germans overloaded on the Portuguese left side with exceptional movement in and out of space. Superb one-touch football where movement off the ball is as important as the touches on it led to defender Joao Pereira having little choice than to take Muller down in the box for a penalty. Find weakness and expose it. The theme of superior football intelligence, movement and collective understanding has carried over to where we are today. This all coming from a team with an average age of 25.9: a young squad, yet so experienced. Its easy to criticize Brazils defensive frailties in the embarrassing semi-final loss. But credit must not be taken away from Germanys ability to move forward in numbers with pace and purpose. For example, Kroos typical sits back and provides service from deep positions. That wasnt the case early against Brazil, with Kroos getting in more advanced positions down the left, often-times further up field than Mesut Ozil. Its the relentlessness and understanding of their waves of attack that make this team special. This has less to do with individual quality than it does mutual understanding about the way they play and personal responsibility within the system. We are witness currently to a special generation of German footballers, not that this is anything new. No country has made more World Cup semi-finals (12) than the Germans. The most recent unprecedented run of form (four World Cup semi-finals in a row) is the latest testament to a superior football philosophy and internal development. The only thing missing is a major title. Sunday is their best chance. The World Cup Trophy and a fourth World title is within reach. Germany is the better team, and the better team should beat the better player. Just like in Cape Town in 2010. This is Germanys World Cup to win. They can only beat themselves. Not this time. Not this team. David Bingham Jersey . Joining him in this years class were Switzerlands Patrick Huerlimann and Norways Eigil Ramsfjell. The announcement was made at the world mens curling championship at Capital Indoor Stadium in China. Chris Pontius USA Jersey . The Yankees made the moves before Tuesdays game against Baltimore. Robertson was listed retroactive to Monday. Robertson posted two saves in three games as the replacement for retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera before getting hurt. http://www.usasoccerauthority.com/zack- ... sa-jersey/. "He came up to me and said, I want to train," said Toronto coach Ryan Nelsen. The 26-year-old midfielder is expected to play Saturday night when Toronto hosts D.C. United, returning to his Major League Soccer squad with mixed feelings about the Americans World Cup run -- sad that it ended when it did but proud of his teams performance. Sacha Kljestan Jersey .Heres Ralph the Dog with the crew here at TSN jumping into the James Duthie TradeCentre selfie: Happy to drop by! RT @TSN_Sports: @tsnjamesduthie: Take this Ellen. Justin Morrow Jersey .55 million euros (US$18.6 million) to Spanish tax authorities on Monday to cover any potential irregularities in its signing of Neymar, all the while maintaining its innocence of the fraud charges levied against it.LOS ANGELES -- The Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings walked between the palm trees into the Dodger Stadium outfield, a beach volleyball court on their right and a Kiss performance stage to their left. A surprisingly good ice rink was straight ahead, glistening in the Hollywood night. "We felt like rock stars," Anaheim defenceman Ben Lovejoy said. "That was by far the coolest feeling Ive ever had playing hockey." After all the spectacle and sensation of the NHLs first warm-weather outdoor game, Jonas Hiller and the Ducks demonstrated whos on top of this rivalry -- with or without a roof. Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey scored first-period goals, and the Ducks beat the Kings 3-0 at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night. Hiller made 36 saves in his 20th career shutout as the league-leading Ducks dominated the landmark meeting of Southern Californias two hockey teams under the stars in Chavez Ravine. Andrew Cogliano added an empty-net goal with 1:29 left to close this unusual chapter in the NHLs expanded slate of outdoor games. "Its a little different playing out here, but its nothing that threw us off," Hiller said. The league threw a California carnival for the event: People in shorts and tank tops played Frisbee and practiced yoga between periods while skateboarders rolled past a ball hockey court featuring youth teams. Although the temperature was 63 degrees with significant humidity when Wayne Gretzky dropped the first puck, the ice held up fairly well in the night air. The Ducks had no problems adjusting to the new sightlines and backgrounds while shutting out the Kings. "It was maybe a little slower than some rinks, but it was smooth," Anaheims Teemu Selanne said. "Were used to not-good ice out (West) anyway. The whole package was incredible. You dont have that many chances to play in front of 55,000 people. This was pretty high on my bucket list." The Ducks earned their 21st victory in 24 games, beating Los Angeles for the second time in three days. The Kings lost their fifth straight game. The Kings hosted the first official outdoor game west of the Rocky Mountains in recognition of the NHLs near half-century in Los Angeles and their rivalry with the Ducks, who joined the league two decades ago. And though this game bore little resemblance to the snowbound outdoor contests in northern climes, the excited fans and enthused players embraced this unorthodox version of pond hockey with gusto. "I cant see any reason we shouldnt do this more," Selanne said. "The quality of hockey was greatt.dddddddddddd Im going to remember this." The teams wore specially designed jerseys for the game, with the Kings crown logo dominating their grey jerseys while the Ducks sported bright orange. After a day filled with fan events and celebrations of the cold-weather sports rich California roots, Anaheim showed whos currently in charge of this rivalry. The Ducks followed up their 2-1 victory in Thursdays rivalry meeting in Anaheim by opening a seven-point lead over Chicago atop the overall standings. Jonathan Quick made 18 saves as the Kings matched their longest skid of an otherwise solid season. After getting a goal in the opening minutes of Thursdays loss, Los Angeles hasnt scored in 116 consecutive minutes against the Ducks. "As for us not scoring goals, its been a constant theme, and its getting embarrassing," Los Angeles defenceman Drew Doughty said. "So we need to pick up our socks, and everyone needs to get hungry around the net and score goals." Hiller made 20 saves and stopped Anze Kopitars penalty shot in the first period, and the Swiss netminder turned away every good scoring chance after that in his fourth shutout and 24th victory of the season. Just 2:45 in, Perry scored the first goal in Dodger Stadium history, connecting rather easily on a rebound of Ryan Getzlafs shot off a faceoff. Less than six minutes later, Beleskey was alone at the side of Quicks net to score on a play set up by Selannes pass. Kopitar was awarded a penalty shot midway through the period when Lovejoy hooked him on a breakaway, but the Kings leading scorer couldnt do much with the puck, and Hiller stopped it. "The experience was fun and it was exciting, playing on a stage like this in front of all those people, but it was definitely not the outcome we wanted," Kopitar said. Cogliano had the best scoring chance of the second period, but lost the puck on a breakaway. Hiller was outstanding after struggling in his last start against Winnipeg, and Cogliano wrapped up the win in the closing seconds with his 17th goal. NOTES: The crowd was announced at 54,099 -- a number that likely made Gretzky smile. ... Despite significant public interest, the game didnt sell out until early Saturday. The NHL overpriced many tickets when they first went on sale, forcing price reductions and refunds in the sections that werent selling. ... Perry joined Cristiano Ronaldo as the first players to score a goal in their respective sports at Dodger Stadium. Last August, Ronaldo scored Real Madrids first goal against Everton in the stadiums first soccer game. ' ' '[url][/url]


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