Battle lines have been drawn semi-final clash at FIFA 2010 football World Cup in South Africa. Uruguay vs the Netherlands would be the first of the semi-final on 7th July 12:00 a.m. (India Time) while Germany takes on Spain in the second semi-finals on 8th July 12:00 a.m. (India Time).
In the first match of the two semi-finals, the Netherlands would be the favorites to make it to the final. But the way things have gone till now (Brazil knock out!), it would be difficult to make a prediction about the winner. In the second semi-finals, Germany appears to have an upper hand given the rock-solid performance against Argentina. Nevertheless, Spain would be rearing to leave a lasting impression with David Villa and Torres.
Both the encounters would be interesting particularly the Germany Vs Spain as fans would be expecting a hard-fought match as lots are at stake for the teams.
The outcome of the quarterfinals Uruguay defeated Ghana in the quarterfinals in the penalty shootout to make a place for themselves in the semi-finals. Both teams ended up with one goal apiece in the quarterfinals and a penalty shootout was needed to decide the winner. Ghana star Asamoah Gyan failed to convert his chance as the team failed in their bid to make it to the semi-finals.
In the other quarter-finals, Netherlands pulled an upset over hot favorites Brazil by defeating them by 2-1. The match was closely fought but for the lone goal which was dubbed as a self-goal for Brazil that made the difference. This Brazil side was different from the earlier sides which had flair, flamboyance, and entertained the crowd with pace. The Brazil side which played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup under coach Dunga looked distinctly different from the previous sides bereft of stars like Ronaldinho and others along with the above elements, the side was to look like ‘new wine in a new bottle’! Unfortunately, the experiment did not work for Dunga and the side failed to make it to the semi-finals leaving its fans shocked across the world. Unlike the Brazil which sailed past teams with its pace and ‘a touch above the rest’ play, this side looked human and susceptible and eventually capitulated. All that the millions of Brazil fans around the world could pray for is that Brazil gets back to their old ways of ‘beautiful football’ and take the team back to the pinnacle.
Germany Vs Argentina was one match that was expected to be a cracker. And cracker it was for Germany as they thrashed Argentina 4-0. It appeared to a classic case of setting the ‘cat among the pigeons’ as Argentina forgot the meaning of the word defense during the game. The very first goal by Mueller brought out the gaping hole in the Argentinian defense which only went only to become more miserable with the passage of time. Meanwhile, Miroslav Klose exploited the lackluster effort and scored two more goals which sealed the fate of Germany. Germans appeared a team well prepared for the game with a game plan to win while Argentina appeared lost and completely as the sea. Messi, the player to watch out for turned out to be a damp squib failing to prove his mettle through the tournament. The usually animated Maradona appeared to be a quiet spectator as if awaiting the carnage. The Argentina team was short of ideas. It also proved the adage that not all great players make good coaches as in the case of Maradona. It is about practice, team effort, and believing in a unit rather than in a few individuals!
Spain vs Paraguay too ended up as expected as Spain made a place for themselves with a goal from their star performer in the FIFA 2010 World Cup David Villa. The scoreline read 1-0 good enough to send Spain through to the semi-finals.
Now, with the four semi-finals decided, one would have to wait and watch to see the final two teams to clash for the coveted World Cup 2010.