world cup 2010 – 3rd/4th place play-off: germany in top three

1271967_full-lnd This was a match dubbed the most pointless match in football, although it had always provided better entertainment compared to the final itself. This year’s play-off was no exception, as both Germany and Uruguay slugged it out in the rain in the Port Elizabeth Stadium, to overcome the emotions and psychological torment of losing their respective hard-fought semi-finals.

The two teams traded lead 3 times throughout the game. Germany struck first in the 19th minute when Thomas Mueller put the ball into net, after Diego Muslera spilled Bastian Schweinsteiger’s 30-yards drive. It was his 5th goal in the tournament, putting him in contention for the adidas Golden Boot Award. 9 minutes later Uruguay equalized, after Schweinsteiger was dispossessed by Diego Perez. He duly fed Luis Suarez, and found Edinson Cavani on his left, before Cavani coolly slotted the ball to the far corner of Hans-Jorg Butt’s net. The score remained 1-1 at half-time.

The second half began with the same end-to-end action as the first. This time however it was Uruguay who took the lead in the 51st minute, when Diego Forlan scored with a superb acrobatic volley off Egidio Arevalo’s cross. The goal meant he is now tied with Mueller and Miroslav Klose (GER), Wesley Sneijder (NED) and David Villa (ESP) with 5. However, just like in the first half, the opponent came up with an immediate reply 5 minutes later, when Germany equalized through Marcell Jansen’s header, when Muslera missed Jerome Boateng’s deep cross.

The game was now wide open with both teams trying to carve out an opening for the winner. In the end, it was Germany who succeeded in the 82nd minute, when Sami Khedira, headed in after a goalmouth scramble from a Mesut Ozil corner. This time the lead stayed until the final whistle, and Germany held on for a 3-2 win, and have now finished in the top three of the World Cup 11 times. Applause

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