Saturday, July 3, 2010


CAPE TOWN, South Africa(AP) Don't mess with Germany, on or off the field.
Miroslav Klose scored twice to move into a tie for second on the all-time World Cup scoring list, and Germany backed up its pre-game trash talk with an emphatic 4-0 rout of Argentina in the quarterfinals Saturday. The dominant display - along with Germany's two other four-goal games - should demand the attention of everyone still playing in South Africa.
``It was absolute class,'' Germany coach Joachim Loew said.
Hard to argue with that.
© AP
Argentina had been one of the tournament's darlings, with coach Diego Maradona's every move causing a stir and superstar Lionel Messi showing you don't need to score to be sublime. The Argentines rolled into the quarterfinals as one of only two teams to win all its games - the Netherlands was the other - and had been so powerful they never trailed.
No wonder a star-studded crowd was on hand at Green Point Stadium, with German chancellor Angela Merkel, Mick Jagger, Leonardo DiCaprio and South Africa's own Charlize Theron were all spotted in the VIP seats.
But Germany overwhelmed the Argentines, and shut down Messi in the process.
``To lose like that is very painful,'' forward Carlos Tevez said. ``We played badly and sometimes when you make mistakes you go home.''
Klose, making his 100th appearance for Germany, was simply masterful in the second half. With Germany clinging to a 1-0 lead and unable to get that all-important insurance goal despite several chances in the first half, Klose showed the skill that's made him one of the most prolific players in German history.
In the 68th minute, Lukas Podolski crossed the ball from just beyond the box, slicing it between Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero and defender Nicolas Burdisso. Klose got control of the ball in front of the goal and effortlessly tapped it in for a 2-0 lead.
And Klose wasn't done. In the last minute of regulation, he volleyed in a cross from Mesut Oezil from no more 10 yards, then broke out his trademark somersault. It hasn't been seen in months after a tough season at Bayern Munich, and German fans were no doubt thrilled to have Klose's swagger back.
``I am just pleased that we are in the semifinals,'' Klose said, ``that was our target.''
The two goals give the 32-year-old Klose four in South Africa, tying him for the tournament lead. He now has 14 in three World Cups, tying him with German great Gerd Mueller for second place on the all-time list. Brazil's Ronaldo holds the World Cup record with 15 goals.
Klose also is second to Mueller on Germany's all-time list with 52 goals. Mueller scored 68.


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