Spain vs. Germany: Match Day Commentary

Germany Spain

Only three matches remain in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and after today's second semifinal, the field for Sunday's final will be set.

Spain's search for that elusive first World Cup title continues, with three-time winners Germany standing in their way at Moses Madhida Stadium in Durban (ESPN/, 2:30 p.m.). Fernando Torres has been benched in favor of Pedro for La Furia Roja, looking to combat the Germans' width.

Meanwhile, the Germans will be without leading scorer Thomas Mueller through yellow card suspension, though Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose will be ready to pick up the slack.

I'll be providing live commentary throughout today's match. Leave all your thoughts, analysis and opinion in the comments section below. Enjoy the game.


FINAL – So Sunday will see the crowning of a new World Cup champion. Spain will be making its debut at a final, while the Netherlands will look to erase past heartbreak against European rivals. That's all from me for now. Thanks for following along, and be sure to check back with SBI as the World Cup winds down.


FINAL – Three straight 1-0 wins, the goal not coming from David Villa. Defense wins for Spain, who shut down the high-flying Germans, who must take solace in a second-straight third place game against Uruguay on Saturday.


FINAL – And that's it! Germany couldn't get the tying goal, and Spain celebrate. Puyol's goal replicates the scorelines from the last time these two sides met in a major tournament.


93rd minute – Germany throwing everything forward, but Spain holding strong. Xabi Alonso comes off with Carlos Marchena his replacement.


90th minute – Into injury time, three added minutes. Do the Germans have enough left? They need to get the ball if they want to do that.


89th minute – Friedrich intervenes against Torres, in the hunt for Spain's second. Gets just enough, and Spain have a corner.


87th minute – Spain doing enough to cope with the crosses Germany is bombing in. A Torres-led counter is spoiled with a poor pass.


85th minute – Down to the last five minutes, and Pedro gets pulled off for David Silva.


82nd minute – Pedro holds on to the ball too long during a two on one. He squanders the chance by dallying on the ball instead of simply passing to a wide open Torres.


80th minute – Pique swipes another low cross clear. Khedira comes off for Mario Gomez. Fernando Torres replaces David Villa up top.


79th minute – Villa takes on Friedrich one on one, but the German defender holds his nerve and the chance is left wanting.


77th minute – Germany pressing forward. Win a corner, have to throw caution to the wind.


74th minute – Interesting that after all their passing and possession, Spain scores from a simple corner. Straightforward, and Germany is on track for a second straight third place match.


73rd minute – GOAL SPAIN! And there it is. Puyol arrives late on a corner, and heads in past Neuer. Nobody picked up Puyol who came from outside the box.


72nd minute – One goal could be enough in this one, just under 20 minutes to go.


70th minute – Germany have grabbed the momentum after that chance, drawing a couple of set pieces that Mertesacker can't convert.


69th minute – Kroos denied! Casillas does enough to save a half volley after Podolski's cross finds the winger wide open in the box.


67th minute – Game is opening up slightly, with more space for both sides as they press forward in search of a goal.


63rd minute – Biggest problem Germany is having now: central defense that wins the ball, then turns it over straight to someone in a red jersey.


62nd minute – Trochowski comes off for Toni Kroos. Another young, up-and-coming player on for Germany.


60th minute – Klose with a brief glimpse at the goal, though it's only an awkward, twisting volley that hits his shin and goes over.


58th minute – Crazy sequence of events in Germany's box. Capdevila gets forward and a cross is laid off to Pedro, but Neuer saves his shot. The rebound is controlled by Iniesta, who dances in behind, crosses it right across the goalmouth just past a sliding Villa.


56th minute – There's still the threat of the German counter, but thanks to Spain's pressure on the ball, the Germans have been unable to cope and have committed a number of sloppy turnovers when in possession.


55th minute – Villa tries another shot from outside the box, and it's always going wide.


53rd minute – All Spain from the start, as Germany can't get any of the ball. No chances from close in, however, as the only shots came from Alnso well outside the box.


51st minute – Germany make an early change, with Boateng coming off for Marcell Jansen. Good move, as Boateng had struggled in defense.


48th minute – Pedro dances around in the box, and the ball makes its way to Xabi Alonso who fires out for a goal kick.


45th minute – Game is back on.


HALFTIME – Spain the dominant side — 57% possession, six shots, but nothing to show for it other than that. The German defense has held up well, dealing with the crosses and reading the Spain passing game well enough.


HALFTIME – Pedro hammers a shot straight to Neuer for the last play of the half.


45th minute – Just like that, Ozil gets forward and is taken down in the box. Hungarian referee is unmoved.


45th minute – One added minute. Germany 0, Spain 0. Likely to stay that way too.


44th minute – The German size advantage is more and more evident. Spain working the flanks, but can't get on the end of any crosses.


42nd minute – Dangerous free kick for Spain after a Boateng foul.


39th minute – Germany with another well-worked move, but Ozil takes too many touches — probably should have shot — and it goes begging.


36th minute – Spain keeping a high defensive line, and Schweinsteiger looks to find Podolski in space. He can't beat the offside trap, however.


34th minute – Ozil seeing more of the ball, and to no surprise, Germany seeing more of the ball. Ozil wins another corner, only for Casillas to once again clear.


31st minute – SAVE CASILLAS. Trochowski lines one up and lets rip, forcing a dive from the 'keeper. Spain deals easily enough with the corner.


30th minute – Xabi Alonso tries to connect with a shot from distance, but it's wide of Neuer's net. This one's all Spain, Germans have yet to really threaten Casillas.


28th minute – Podolski trots off after Ramos gets him on the top of the foot with his studs. Painful, that one, and Podolski is back on.


26th minute – Spain doing well to work the ball down the flanks, but without Torres, lack a target man that can compete with the large central defenders. Beautiful passing and movement, nonetheless.


23rd minute – Both Capdevila and Ramos are getting forward early against the German defense. Spain has to be concerned about Germans counter-attacking ability.


21st minute – Spain work a one-two move down the left flank to win a corner. Xavi takes it short, and the ensuing cross is almost turned the other way, but a sloppy German pass kills it.


18th minute – Germans getting themselves into the game a bit more, though red jerseys doing well when called to defend.


15th minute – Casillas flaps a corner away, not very convincing but good enough.


13th minute – Puyol gets a look at goal from six yards out, but can only flash a header well high. Good, hard cross from Iniesta, hard to get a clean shot off it.


12th minute – Spain looking comfortable, but with few real chances aside from Villa's earlier look at goal. Lacking that target in the middle, as Villa tends to drift out wide.


10th minute – Podolski will have to get back to help mark Ramos, which he does, blocking a cross for a throw.


8th minute – Sergio Ramos darts forward, challenging Jerome Boateng. Interesting matchup to watch on the left hand side of the German defense.


6th minute – SAVE NEUER! Villa gets behind the German defense thanks to a great ball from Pedro. Villa can't get much on the shot but Neuer stands tall for the save.


5th minute – No chances in the games first few minutes. Germany holding shape while Spain passes it around.


2nd minute – Spain with the early possession. Suits Germany fine — they'll sit back and work the counter, something they've done so well in South Africa.


1st minute – And we're off in Durban.


PRE-GAME – The Germans have the obvious physical advantage — but need to use it in their favor. Spain a squad of smaller magicians capable of creating magic with their feet.


PRE-GAME – Players are through the tunnel, out on the pitch. Anthem time.


PRE-GAME – Germany in the all white kits, Spain traditional red. A quick shot of Joachim Low: a bit nervous perhaps?


PRE-GAME – So what player steps up on the biggest stage? Villa has carried the scoring load, hitting five of Spain's six goals. The inclusion of Pedro will help give them width, but another goal scoring threat would stretch the Germans out.


PRE-GAME – Big question that Germany has yet to answer: how will they cope with going down a goal? They've only done it once, against Ghana and lost. If Spain scores first, it will be a place that this German side hasn't been at all.


PRE-GAME – A little over 20 minutes to go until kickoff. If you haven't shared your predictions in the earlier thread, share them below.


PRE-GAME – Revenge, of course, is one of the themes here, as Spain defeated Germany back in 2008 to win the European Championship in Vienna.


PRE-GAME – Piotr Trochowski replaces Thomas Mueller, who misses out after a yellow card (his second of the tournament) against Argentina.


PRE-GAME – Here are today's lineups:





Capdevila–Pique—Puyol–Sergio Ramos








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105 Responses to Spain vs. Germany: Match Day Commentary

  1. HoboMike says:

    Thankfully, Del Bosque sits Torres. I love the man, but it was painful to watch him.

    This will open up the game much more, and give Villa the chance to do what he does best.

  2. Brad says:

    I’d start Silva or Navas over Pedro…

  3. Dave says:

    watch out for Pedro today, kid is ice cold

  4. Scoobert says:

    Prediction: Germany 2-1 Spain.

    Going with conventional wisdom here…Germany is sharp and playing very well, but the loss of Mueller will keep the game close.

  5. Charles says:

    I predict a lot of bad things happening do to the fact that they don’t have enough officiating.

    At the very least there will be guys trying to “trick” them officials into and advantage….aka CHEATING.

    And an exciting game too, so I am not completely negative….

  6. A Guest says:

    I think the score will be 2-0, but won’t commit to a winner.

  7. RK says:

    Good call with Navas…

  8. RK says:

    Germany lost to Serbia, not Ghana, Travis.

  9. Scoobert says:

    For those who missed it, Paul the Octopus predicted Spain to win.

  10. Sean says:


  11. Brent McD. says:

    some would make the argument that Torres draws attention away from Villa giving him more space to operate. we shall see….

  12. The Dude says:

    Well, I guess I won’t bother watching since Paul gave the result away…

  13. Spectra says:

    Why is Klinsmann in California?

  14. The Dude says:

    He actually lives in the US with his family, hence the reason he keeps getting linked with the US job.

  15. ThaDeuce says:

    ButTravis, what is YOUR prediction???
    I pick Spain (in this thread).

  16. brian o'rourke says:

    I hate magicians

  17. Spectra says:

    I was wondering why as a broadcaster for the world cup during a Germany semi-final suddenly he’s in California?

  18. Brent McD. says:

    7 Barca players (incl. Villa) starting for Spain . Amazing, but why the heck not.

  19. Adriano says:

    Does the pitch look horrible to anyone else?

  20. The Dude says:

    And to think that Messi had the choice to play for Spain…

  21. catch22 says:

    Is it just me or does the field look narrow?

  22. not europe says:

    Ives, Re: your pre-match commentary. Germany was never down a goal to Ghana. You mean Serbia where they went down a goal and lost 1-0. Interesting point about what will happen if they go down a goal against Spain.

  23. Scoobert says:

    Someone really wanted to help out their side!

  24. A.S. says:

    Two more 4-2-3-1 formations. Fascinating. Dutch used it yesterday too.

  25. Adriano says:

    Spain’s possession has been brilliant, and their defensive pressure has stifled Germany.

  26. Brent McD. says:

    Spain really pushing men forward. Dangerous against a quality counterattacking team like Germany.

  27. jig says:

    not a good call with either, Pedro is sick.

  28. Adriano says:

    Spain is absolutely dominating Germany.

  29. Scoobert says:

    10 minutes and only one shot on goal.

  30. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Hey Puyol, ROger Daltry called. He wants his hiar back.

  31. Scoobert says:

    20 minutes and maybe two shots on goal.

  32. The Dude says:

    This is like the Spain v Switzerland game, except Germany has the ability to be way more dangerous than the Swiss were.

  33. Adriano says:

    Anybody expect for Germany to park the bus?

  34. A Guest says:

    Yes. I figured they’d pull a USAmerican/Swiss/Portugese maneuver, just much more capably.

  35. Adriano says:

    Incompetent linesmen.

  36. Mike says:

    I’d say the US was capable in their tactics against Spain considering we won.

  37. The Dude says:

    Alonso was like: “Screw this ball retention crap!”

  38. Scoobert says:

    30 minutes and we have only our third shot on goal. Still none for Germany.

    These teams must be terrified of being down a goal.

    And now, Germany’s first shot as a write this.

  39. Adriano says:

    Spain needs to get the ball to the feet of David Villa.

  40. Gus Keri says:

    What a boring game

  41. Adriano says:

    Spain is clearly trying to attack. If you think the game is boring, you can blame Germany for parking the bus.

  42. The Dude says:

    Germany doing what they need to do. These here are very high stakes. When Jose Mourinho does it, it’s called “genius”.

  43. Gus Keri says:

    this is the type of possession that Jose Morinho loves to play agianst. A futile one.

  44. The Dude says:

    Interesting stat: Germany first team since Brazil in 1970 to score four goals on three occasions in same World Cup (Aus, Eng, Arg). I doubt it will happen today though.

  45. A Guest says:

    Yes, but “more” does not imply that the initial application was ineffective.

  46. Adriano says:

    Scratch that, inadvertent contact.

  47. The Dude says:

    It was a penalty.

  48. Brent McD. says:

    Ozil with a shameful flop into the box. if he keeps his feet and looks for a teammate, then that’s an easy Germany goal

  49. Gus Keri says:

    The true face of German soccer is finally on display. We were fooled into believing that they have changed. It turned out that they just took advantage of a weak defenses in their previous games.

  50. The Dude says:

    Some refs would have given that, inadvertent or not. Ramos clipped his calf without being anywhere near the ball.

  51. Adriano says:

    I agree. There was contact, but he definitely made the most of it.

    Ozil already has a card this World Cup for diving.

  52. Adriano says:

    Germany comes up against a good team and reverts to negative soccer.

    Argentina might be poor on defense, but they would never play like this.

  53. Dave says:

    It was a dive. Poor first touch, took him way away from the ball, minimal incidental contact, and down he went. Should have been booked IMHO. He looked nervous in the tunnel and has looked nervous in the match.
    Pedro on the other hand, has been Spain’s best player.

  54. Champions of England says:

    This is not negative soccer. They arent throwing ten in the box or fouling Spain to try and stop their flow.

    This whole World Cup Germany has been content to let their opponents control possesion and then hit on the counter. This tactic hasnt changed for this game.

  55. Adriano says:

    Spain has to get the ball to David Villa. He is faster than almost any player in the World and he has a heck of a touch and shot.

  56. BSU SC says:

    Snoozer of a first half. I hope it opens up a lot more in the 2nd 45. The Japan-Paraguay game was more entertaining than this, and that’s saying a lot.

  57. Adriano says:

    Holy skill batman. That was one of the best individual runs I can remember.

  58. Adriano says:

    Xabi, put them on net!

  59. Adriano says:

    This pitch is absolutely terrible!

  60. The Dude says:

    Torres gotta be coming on soon, whatever his form. He’s more physical than any of these guys.

  61. Scoobert says:

    Germany lucky to escape there…

  62. Adriano says:

    At what point will the official call give Spain one of 10 legitimate free kicks they should have?

  63. Adriano says:

    We need to get shots on goal, from anywhere.

  64. Brent McD. says:

    this game reminds me quite a bit of the US/Spain Confederations Cup game. does Germany have a Deuce or Jozy moment in them?

  65. Adriano says:


  66. Brent McD. says:

    what a powerful header from Puyol! bowling over the German defense

  67. Gus Keri says:

    Talk about the power of “HAIR”. Are you watching Torres?

  68. Scoobert says:

    Wow, all that defensive effort by Germany for 70 minutes and nobody even picks up Puyol on a corner…

  69. A Guest says:

    Seriously? That streisand-looking bastard scored on you? Jeez, Germany! I thought you all were taking this seriously.

  70. Gus Keri says:

    Germany are coming out of their shell

  71. Adriano says:


    Villa off for Torres? Is Del Bosque insane?

  72. Scoobert says:

    Villa out?? I guess they are confident…

  73. Brent McD. says:

    Pedro is an idiot. How can he not pass to a wide-open Torres?

  74. The Dude says:

    Incredibly selfish by Pedro.

  75. Adriano says:

    Pedro, what the **** are you doing?

  76. Obe says:

    Wow. Blatantly selfish. A nice clip to show kids when not to be selfish…

  77. Scoobert says:

    Looks like it’s over for Germany unless they can get a great free kick or corner.

  78. Gus Keri says:

    Is the magic power of Octopus Paul stronger than the V-neck blue shirt?

  79. The Dude says:

    Damn! I’m in the mood for extra-time and PK’s.

  80. The Dude says:

    Spain has won the last three games 1-0.

  81. Adriano says:

    VIVA LA FURIA ROJA!!!!!!!!!!!

  82. Scoobert says:

    Germany deserved to lose this one for that incredibly dull, uninspired performance.

    I frankly don’t think Spain looks that great either, although better than the last few games.

  83. reverb says:

    So much for Germany. They hadn’t faced a defense like Spain’s and they were completely worn down by the end of the game. No real answer for Spain’s play, despite a large majority thinking Germany would win.
    I’ll step out on a limb here and say that the final is: Spain 1 – 0 Netherlands

  84. Brandon says:

    So happy to see both the Netherlands and Spain in the final. A new face holding the trophy will be nice.

  85. Jorge says:

    Hopefully, Spain will win just as long as Arjen “Diving” Robben does not fall crying in pain…

  86. Scoobert says:

    Well, you probably shouldn’t have bothered…


  87. Lu says:

    LMFAO, the streisand reference is right on

  88. buff111 says:

    Paul the octopus was right again; don’t doubt the pus!

  89. Jamie Z. says:

    I am going to kill Paul The Octopus.

  90. Adriano says:

    I like Klinsman, but he is a HUGE homer.

    They showed too much respect? Had they played more open, Spain would have blown then out by 3 or 4. Germany was dominated even parking the bus. Spain’s defense is incredible, and you will not beat them going right at them.

  91. Adriano says:

    Paul the Octopus is 6 for 6, nice!

  92. Jorge says:

    Did you bet on Germany upsetting Spain? :-)

  93. Aquaman says:

    I hate psychic cephalopods

  94. tony says:

    great victory for spain though i dont see them beating the dutch. They are the perfect team to break them down. Dutch wins 2-1. my tournament pick.

  95. Adriano says:

    That sounds like something right out of Men in Black.

  96. Scoobert says:

    Maybe the absence of Mueller was a catalyst for their crappy performance. They looked lost out there.

  97. Kaiser says:

    I can see not giving a PK, but his foot was taken out. No way that is a dive. Learn the game! All of your comments are ridiculous!

  98. Kaiser says:

    Germany were way too tenative, and didn’t deserve to win, but Spain aren’t that impressive. They are so lucky to get to the final. Lucky they snuck by Paraguay, lucky Muller got a crap card (Muller’s fearless mentality was exactly what Germnay needed), lucky that wasn’t called a PK (played the man not the ball).

    Big question…does their luck run out or do they sneak by the Dutch 1-0, too? They remind of the Italians in 2006.

  99. Kaiser says:

    No more of a homer than that ridiculous Wigan coach

  100. soccerroo says:

    Disappointed in the out come of this game but should make for a good final with both Spain and Holland possesion teams that like to attack.

  101. Kaiser says:

    My bad…you corrected your comment. I’m an a$$.

  102. Ben says:

    It’s not sneaking by when you dominate possession and only give up a couple of good opportunities during the whole game. How nice to see a team that wants possession and to be playing with the ball. Seriously, how can you not love Spain? Oh right, “Kaiser,” well take your glorified counterattacking soccer back to Germany, Hohenzollern!

  103. Versteeg says:

    Muller was robbed of appearing in the game. His absence did not allow Germany to have the pace to counter attack the way they needed to.

    Shame on FIFA for allowing such a bright young star and one of the tournament leading scorers to not appear in such a huge match for such an innocuous booking…

  104. JP says:

    In normal circumstances, I’d pick Spain to win it all. But the Dutch have been in raw, lucky form and I’m sure Sneider is going to score from 40 yds out after the ball hits 3 different Spanish defenders on its way to the back of the net….