Germany master penalties to beat Argentina to semi-final spot

Friday, June 30, 2006

Germany beat Argentina 4-2 on penalties to book a place in the Fifa World Cup semi-finals in Berlin, Friday.

Olympiastadion, Berlin.

The match had drawn 1-1 without many clear chances for either side due to defensive play on both sides. First it was Germany who were unable to be positive as Argentina dominated play with 65 per cent of ball possession.

Until their goal Argentina controlled the game.

Four minutes after half-time Roberto Ayala got across Miroslav Klose to meet Juan Riquelme's corner which he powered between Jens Lehmann and his near post guard, Philipp Lahm.

The goal early in the second period made for a more exciting match which had been mostly uneventful in a first half during which neither side could muster more than a single shot. However; good scoring chances where hard to come by.

Juergen Klinsmann may be credited with a substitution change that partially helped Germany get an equalising goal. The fast David Odonkor troubled Juan Sorin and the Argentine left flank and allowed Germany to press forward nearer to the opposition penalty area.

Argentine manager may also have made a tactical mistake and suffered form a moment of bad fortune. In the minutes before Germany equalised from Ballack's wonderful left field cross his goalkeeper had to be stretchered off with a muscle injury.

Jose Pekerman followed his keeper's substitutions with two defensive ones; taking off creative midfield playmaker Riquelme and forward Hernan Crespo. The gifts of Lionel Messi and Javier Saviola were left on the bench while Julio Cruz, a long ball-holding forward, was brought on to partner Carlos Tevez.

The bad luck and changes seemed to put Germany in charge of the tactical game for the first time in the match.

A minute after Cruz arrived Pekerman might have regretted his decision. Klose's fifth World Cup goal ten minutes from time put him at the top of the Fifa Golden Boot leader board as the tournament's highest goalscorer. He beat his marker to dip and head beyond Leonardo Franco after Tim Borowski, a substitution on 74 minutes, had flicked on a Ballack cross.

The game finished 1-1 and the two halves of extra time mirrored the match; first half uneventful, the second half more attacking. Fabricio Coloccini came closest to breaking the deadlock when he hit the crossbar from 45 yards trying to catch Lehmann off his goal line.

Neither Germany or Argentina had lost in a World Cup penalty contest; both sides had won three. All the penalties hit the target and were well struck, except Ayala's who hit a soft effort which Lehmann saved to his left. Cambiasso's effort to Lehmann's left was better struck but the keeper had guessed the right side to dive to break Argentine hearts.

Post shootout melee

FIFA launched an investigation into an on-field melee which began after the penalties had been decided in Germany's favour.

Punches and kicks were thrown in the tangle. Unused Argentine substitute Leandro Cufre assaulted German Per Mertesacker and was presented the red card by Lubos Michel.

According to the German captain Michael Ballack the conflict originated when Argentine players shouted at the German team during the shootout. When Tim Borowski got Germany's fourth penalty he made a sign to the Argentine players to be quiet.

After the penalty kicks Argentine players approached Borowski and a scuffle of mostly pushing began that involved dozens of players, referees, coaches and substitutes.

FIFA said television pictures would be looked at and fines or sanctions would be considered if appropriate.


Match 57

June 30, 2006
  Germany 1–1   Argentina Olympiastadion
Klose 80'
Ayala 49'

Attendance: 72'000


  Notes Result   Notes Result
Neuville Hard to left   Cruz High to right  
Ballack Hard to right   Ayala Saved low left X
Podolski Hard low left   Rodriguez Stutter, low right  
Borowski Low to left   Cambiasso Saved low left X
Total 4 Total 2

Notes are from the goalkeeper's view.



Right wing Right Center Left Left wing
  Jens Lehmann (GK)
 Arne Friedrich 114'   Per Mertesacker  Christoph Metzelder  Philipp Lahm
 Bernd Schneider  Torsten Frings  Michael Ballack (C)  Bastien Schweinsteiger
 Miroslav Klose    Lukas Podolski 3' 


  • 62' David Odonkor 94'  for Schneider
  • 74' Tim Borowski for Schweinsteiger
  • 86' Oliver Neuville for Klose

Coach: Juergen Klinsmann

  denotes one goal scored.


Right wing Right Center Left Left wing
 Roberto Abbondanzieri (GK)
 Gabriel Heinze  Fabricio Coloccini  Roberto Ayala    Juan Sorin (C) 46' 
 Luis Gonzalez  Javier Mascherano 60'   Maxi Rodriguez 88' 
 Juan Riquelme
 Hernan Crespo  Carlos Tevez


  • 71' Leonardo Franco (GK) for Abbondanzieri
  • 72' Esteban Cambiasso for Riquelme
  • 79' Julio Cruz 95'  for Crespo
  • unused Leandro Cufre 120'  

Coach: Jose Pekerman

  denotes one goal scored.


  Referee: Lubos Michel   

  Assistant referee: Roman Slysko

  Assistant referee: Martin Balko

  Fourth referee: Massimo Busacca

  Fifth referee: Francesco Buragina

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This article is about the 2006 World Cup; for more World Cup news visit the World Cup portal.