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Posted by Susie Schaaf on 06/22/2010

Normally, I’m not one to complain about referees--- as calls, in the end, tend to even themselves out throughout a tournament. However, Spain’s zebra, Alberto Undiano Mallenco, did the tournament, and both Serbia and Germany an injustice, handing out 9 yellow cards throughout their match. He’s been an international referee since 2004, and definitely has experience calling huge matches in La Liga--- Which makes his questionable, soft calls all the more perplexing. Perhaps he was intimidated by the highly physical style of play both teams bring to the pitch? One will never know.

My two biggest issues are, of course, the second yellow leading to Klose’s red card, and why Vidic was not given a straight red for a handball in the penalty box. Of course, Klose’s second yellow was a foul, but it was not a card. It was not malicious, as he attempted to get out of the tackle.

Oh, OK… one more. The inconsistency of cards handed out between the two halves dulled the style and quality of play for both squads, as no player could ever expect what was going to be called and what wasn’t. But hey, at least it wasn’t as bad as the inexplicable call that pulled the winning goal back from the United States…

Now, all that being said (whew!), die Mannschaft did not play anywhere close to the crispness that they showed in the 4-0 drubbing of Australia in their opening group stage match. The midfield, in the first half, looked out of sorts. Bastian Schweinsteiger, while playing a bit more forward, also was more hesitant. Thomas Mueller couldn’t cross a ball in to save his life. And, Lukas… oh, Lukas! The self-called “idiot” was guilty of an abysmally struck one-on-one, but more importantly; the first penalty miss for Germany since Uli Hoeness flubbed one in ‘74. Ouch.

And, Herr Loew, if, by chance, you are reading? Pretty please replace Friedrich with Badstuber in the middle? Mertesacker didn’t have a horrible match. And Lahm was a bit above average. But, Friedrich failed to mark Jovanovich when the cross setting up his goal was sent in, and Badstuber was, handily, played off the park. His wing defending (kind of) works in the Bundesliga, but is shown to be lacking when facing international competition (i.e. Champions League, World Cup).

So, now we face Ghana in an elimination match which has me drawing parallels to EURO ‘08. We dominate our opening match: Poland was the victim during EURO, Australia here. We lose the second match to a strong Eastern European side: Croatia in ‘08, Serbia here. We lose an integral part of the starting 11 to a red card in that second match: Bastian Schweinsteiger there, Miroslav Klose here. And then we face a physical, defensive side in the third match: hosts, Austria then, and, Ghana tomorrow.

I attended that match in Vienna, against Austria, in 2008. Stuck in the Austrian supporters section, mind you. Me and my cousins, Christine and Belinda were three lone, white jerseys stuck in the middle of a virtual sea of red. I would never be as happy as to see the hero of the match, Michael Ballack, drill the only goal on 49 minutes. I was also praying for full-time as Austria kept coming at us. I slumped in to my seat at full-time, sweating; feeling like I was on the pitch myself. And, I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be feeling much the same.

Trainer, Loew is sure not to change the line-up again, with the exception of red-card ineligible Klose. I’d imagine Cacau will be starting in his place.

We need to be wary of the dangerous Asamoah Gyan, as he struck against Serbia to give his side three points, and again against Australia.

So, this is it. We have the talent, of course, to go through. But do we have the mettle? We will be tested by a very strong, very capable Ghanian side; defensive-minded and very quick on fast breaks. Tomorrow is the true test. And has me hoping that the parallel to ‘08 continues….

Auf geht’s Deutschland!


Posted by Frank Ze Tank on 06/22/2010

we will win 3-1 tomorrow cacau will score 2 poldi 1 and ghana will probably score off of a penalty kick. I'm not worried at all about this game. in 2002 we had to beat cameroon in our last group stage match and we made it to the final. The loss was pretty much the best thing that could have happened to Germany they will not want to experience another loss after Serbia.

Posted by fanboy on 06/22/2010

This group standing is striking similar to Group E of 2006.

After 2 rounds:

Italy 4 Ghana 4
Czech Republic 3 Germany 3
Ghana 3 Serbia 3
USA 1 Australia 1

I hope Germany don't follow the footsteps of Czech Republic of 2006.

Czech Republic: Germany:

3-0 win to USA 4-0 win to Australia
0-2 loss to Ghana 0-1 loss to Serbia
0-2 loss to Italy ??

Posted by fanboy on 06/22/2010

Another thing.

Italy 1 - 1 USA(2nd game) with 1 man advantage.
Ghana 1 - 1 Australia(2nd game)with 1 man advantage.

I know these things don't mean anything, but watching patterns are fun past time.

Posted by Shane on 06/23/2010

If things go well as "planned", we'll play Argentina in the Quarters. Remember 4 years ago in Germany? Argentina played Mexico in the round of 16 that year as well...

Posted by Banzi on 06/23/2010

I have to disagree on your opinion about Arne. He was just the last piece in a chain of mistakes made by our defenders. That started with Luke (who had a dismal game btw.) It continued with Badstuber letting Krasic made the cross then Per failing to win the header against Zigic. And then Arne was just a little bit too late. Sure, his fault but compared to Holger and Per Arne played a solid match.

I will not comment on the ref. His performance is just one of a whole lot of disgraceful ref displays during the WC. FIFA rethink your policy!

Well anyway. We lost. So what? As you already pointed out there are a lot of comparisons to the group stage of the EURO 08. And as well as we did in 08 i am pretty sure our side will prevail against Ghana.

It is a true test to see if our very young team is capable of handling pressure. And since i am confident that we will go through it might be an advantage for the knock-out phase to already have a "do our die" match under the belt.

Posted by Ashwin on 06/24/2010

I think Low should drop Badstuber , move Friedrich to left back, and move Boateng into central defence to partner Mertesacker. Badstuber is a good player, bu he doesn't have the experience to start in an already shaky back line at international level.

Posted by Peter on 06/25/2010

is there any parallel with 2002.. I mean was there a red card vs Ireland before 2-0 win against Cameroon?

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