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World Cup: Rampant Germany march into last four

Last updated on: July 03, 2010 22:45 IST

Germany thrashed Argentina 4-0 with a sparkling display of attacking football on Saturday to book their spot in the World Cup last four.

A double from striker Miroslav Klose on his 100th international appearance, along with goals from Thomas Mueller and defender Arne Friedrich ensured the convincing win over a lacklustre Argentina.

"It's insane to beat Argentina 4-0. It's hard to find the words for a result like that," Mueller told German television after the match. "I think Germany is quaking right now and that's the right way to celebrate this."

Man-of-the-match Bastian Schweinsteiger added: "That gives you goose bumps seeing the way people are celebrating at home.

"We may have to play Spain next -- they're the best team in the world, in my view. But we're good enough, we believe in ourselves."

German coach Joachim Loew said his team did "everything nearly perfectly," praising the defence for neutralising the threat from FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi.

"What the team showed today in terms of determination to win was the sort you would expect from champions, also the ambition they showed, the speed and attacking tempo we showed in the second half, it was absolute class," he told reporters.

"We were highly disciplined, but we were also willing to put in the extra effort."

DREAM START

Germany got off to a dream start when midfielder Mueller snatched his fourth goal of the tournament, heading in a curled Schweinsteiger free kick after just three minutes.

Dictating the pace early in the first half, Germany refused to fall back after their quick lead, pressing high in Argentina's half and coming close to more goals through Sami Khedira and Klose.

Germany, who beat Argentina on penalties at the same stage of the tournament in 2006, gradually allowed their opponents to come forward, responding with lightning-quick counter-attacks.

The Argentines, with playmaker Messi often stifled by two or three defenders, tried desperately to level with long-range shots before Klose doubled the German lead in the 68th minute when Lukas Podolski put in a perfect pass from the left and the striker tapped in from close range.

Friedrich got a third with his first international goal in the 74th minute, finishing from a metre out after Schweinsteiger's cross.

Klose completed the rout with his second in the 89th minute when he volleyed home a cross from Mesut Ozil for Germany's fourth and his 14th World Cup goal, just one short of Ronaldo's all time record.

"We just had a bad game. If you make mistakes like that, you go home," Argentine forward Carlos Tevez said. "We knew they could be dangerous on set-pieces and on the counter-attack."

Germany now play the winners of the other quarter-final between Spain and Paraguay later on Saturday.

Source:
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