In Antwort auf
4-0. Roy Halladay Jersey . 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. Francisco Liriano Jersey ., will experience this week. A year in which the Canadian curling championship has been pushed forward a week to accommodate the Winter Olympics was deemed the perfect chance to stage the event in Montreal for the first time since 1979. Roberto Alomar Jersey . Lupul injured the hand in a fall at practice on Thursday. He will wear a cast for a minimum of 10 days before he can put a glove back on it and get some mobility back, said Carlyle, who added the winger wont go on the teams upcoming road trip. http://www.teambluejaysprostore.us/Mat-Latos-blue-jays-jersey/ . -- Each time the Utah Jazz threatened Memphis lead, the Grizzlies responded with defensive stops.MINNEAPOLIS -- Vernon Wells drove in three runs, and the New York Yankees pounded rookie Kyle Gibson and the Minnesota Twins 9-5 on Thursday to finish a four-game sweep. Travis Hafner had three hits and scored twice, and Ichiro Suzuki had a two-run triple among his three hits for the Yankees, who scored 29 runs in the series. The Yankees didnt even need their usual super-sized contribution from Robinson Cano, whose streak of six straight multihit games ended without reaching base. He still batted .500 on this seven-game road trip with 11 RBIs. Justin Morneau homered twice for the Twins, one-third of his season total. But Gibson (1-1) gave up 11 hits, a walk, a hit by pitch and eight runs in 5 1-3 innings with two strikeouts in his second start. David Phelps (6-5) surrendered Morneaus first homer and three more runs in the seventh, when he left with one out. RBI singles by Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier and a sacrifice fly by Joe Mauer helped the Twins catch up in that inning, and Morneau went deep again in the eighth. Phelps gave up eight hits and four runs, but he struck out five without a walk. Zoilo Almonte and Alberto Gonzalez also drove in runs for the Yankees. Phelps had a decent June until his final start of the month, when Baltimore beat him up for a season-most nine runs in 2 1-3 innings last Saturday. Swept by the Orioles in that series, the banged-up Yankees brought a five-game losing streak to Target Field, where their woes were quickly forgotten against their longtime punching bag. Since the start of 2002, including the post-season, the Yankees are 71-23 against Minnesota. Gibsons debut last weekend matched the anticipation of the 2009 first-round draft pick built up in the fan base, a winning performance with six sharp innings and two runs allowed. This time, he was behind 3-0 after just his 17th pitch. The first five batters produced two singles, two doubles and a soaring sacrifice fly by Cano that Oswaldo Arcia caught at the wall in left field. The next batter, Wells, hit a two-run single. The game, though, was essentially decided in the third inning. Gibson hit Hafner with a pitch and let him move up on a wild pitch. Then Wells sneaked a low-arc pop-up in the space between Arcia and the infield, justt right for Hafner to score, Arcia to miss a sliding catch by a few inches and Wells to get a double. Kendrys Morales Jersey. . Luis Cruz followed with an RBI single, his first hit for the Yankees, to stretch the lead to 5-0. Then in the bottom of the inning, the Twins found more bad breaks indicative of a slumping team. After consecutive singles to start for the Twins, Brian Doziers bunt rolled perfectly down the third-base line where no play was possible. But it strayed a bit too far, across the chalk, and Dozier was summoned back to the box. Then he grounded into a double play, thanks to a slick running pickup and same-motion, sidearm toss by the shortstop Cruz to Cano at second base to start the process. Mauer struck out looking next on a pitch the catcher believed was low, in disagreement with home plate umpire Ed Hickox. Mauer was called out on strikes in his next at-bat, too, and he had more words for Hickox on his way back to the dugout. With Josh Willingham out until August, the Twins are even thinner in the middle of their order. So manager Ron Gardenhire stuck Arcia, an emerging candidate for the Rookie of the Year award, in the third spot and moved Mauer back in the No. 2 slot. "Put him in there and let him hack," Gardenhire said. The Twins have lost 10 of their last 13 games. NOTES: Noted Yankees birthdays on July 4: late owner George Steinbrenner and radio announcer John Sterling. ... Arcia popped out to shortstop in the first inning, breaking his bat so badly that the barrel flew toward first base and landed upright in the grass by the cut-out with the jagged edge working like a tent stake. ... The Yankees have moved SS Eduardo Nunez up to Double-A Trenton in his rehab assignment. Manager Joe Girardi said Nunezs return to the team is possible before the All-Star break. ... The Yankees start a 10-game homestand on Friday, beginning with Baltimore. RHP Ivan Nova (2-2, 4.63 ERA), in place of Hiroki Kuroda, will take the mound. RHP Miguel Gonzalez (6-3, 3.77 ERA) will pitch for the Orioles. ... The Twins begin a 10-game road trip on Friday, continuing their grind through the AL East. RHP Kevin Correia (6-5, 4.08 ERA) will start in Toronto, with LHP Mark Buehrle (4-5, 4.81 ERA) taking the mound for the Blue Jays. 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