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World Cup – Quarters, Day 2

Argentina 0 – Germany 4

Argentina went out with a whimper. German young star Thomas Mueller scored 3′ in on a free header at the top of the goal area from a Schweinsteiger free kick. At that point, the Germans relied on their stout defense, which was not particularly physical or dirty, just did not get bent out of shape by the slick Argentine passing. Argentina had a lot of the ball, but couldn’t make much, and in the second half the German counter attack netted three more goals.

Paraguay 0 – Spain 1

The game started quickly, with Spanish goalie Iker Casillas forced to save a Jonathan Santana shot in the first minute.  But it quickly became tedious. Spain had most of the ball, but couldn’t get through midfield. Paraguay made a few advances, and actually looked more dangerous, but could make no serious attacks.  The most exciting moment of the first half was a Paraguay goal by Nelson Valdez (correctly, though controversially) waved off for offside. The second half was far more interesting and entertaining. Paraguay earned a penalty kick when Gerard Pique took Oscar Cardozo down on a Paraguay corner kick, but Casillas made a fine save. Not even a minute later Paraguayan defender Antonin Alcaraz took down David Villa on a counter, and Spain had a PK! Xavi Alonso scored the kick easily, but referee Carlos Batres ruled encroachment, and the re-take was blocked. Spain called for another penalty in the ensuing scramble, but Batres got it right. David Villa scored the winner late on a Spanish counter attack,, collecting the ball after a Pedro shot hit the post, stepping to his right, and slotting the ball off BOTH posts and then in.

The PK fiasco was the only issue I had with referee Batres, but it was huge.  Both PK calls were deserved, but the encroachment calls were screwy. If the second PK needed to be retaken due to encroachment, the first should have been as well, because the encroachment was worse!

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