Germany took an early lead, followed by three strikes in the second half to demolish a stunned Argentina 4-0 in Cape Town. ARG: 0 GER: 4
Venue: Green Point Stadium, Cape Town Crowd: 64,100 Officials Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan) Assistants: Rafael Ilyasov (Uzbekistan) and Bakhadyr Kochkarov (Kyrgyzstan) Fourth official: Jerome Damon (South Africa) Yellow cards:ARG - Otamendi, Mascherano GER - Muller
Red cards: MATCH REPORT Germany have never gone more than twenty years between winning World Cups, so considering their last success was 1990 this should be their year, and who would bet against them after this performance.
A goal to the good after all only three minutes when Thomas Muller glanced home a Bastian Schweinsteiger free kick, the German's bossed the next half hour as Argentina struggled to get into the game with Messi a peripheral figure.
The Europeans were quicker to the ball and their movement meant the Albiceleste had little time to form their own attacks. The game could have been over by the 23rd minute as Miroslav Klose fired over from close range.
But on the half hour Argentina began to get back into the game and began to look like a side that had won 12 of their last thirteen matches. Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez all went close and even had a goal correctly chalked off for offside.
For a few brief moments the German's began to look vulnerable and this continued at the beginning of the second half as keeper Manuel Neuer made a couple of uncharacteristic fumbles as Argentina began to build the pressure.
But two goals in six minutes ended the South American's involvement in the tournament and another in the final minute ensured it was a dejected Argentinean team which trudged off at the final whistle.
On 67 minutes Klose finished the simplest of chances after being set up by Lukas Podolski. Moments later Schweinsteiger waltzed past two half-hearted challenges for Arne Friedrich to score his first international goal from three yards.
With Argentina well beaten added insult came in the 89th minute when a swift counter-attack ended with a chipped pass to Klose who side-footed home with ease.
For Germany this was the third time this tournament they have scored three goals or more and they meet either Spain or Paraguay in the semi-finals. Starting Line-Ups
22. Sergio Romero 15. Nicolas Otamendi (Pastore, 70) 2. Martin Demichelis 4. Nicolas Burdisso 6. Gabriel Heinze 20. Rodriguez Maxi 14. Javier Mascherano 7. Angel Di Maria (Aguero, 76) 10. Leo Messi 9. Gonzalo Higuain 11. Carlos Tevez SUBS
1. Diego Pozo (GK) 3. Clemente Rodriguez 5. Mario Bolatti 8. Juan Veron 12. Ariel Garce 13. Walter Samuel 16. Sergio Aguero 17. Jonas Gutierrez 18. Martin Palermo 19. Diego Milito 21. Mariano Andujar (GK) 23. Javier PastoreGER
1. Manuel Neuer 16. Philip Lahm 17. Per Mertesacker 20. Jerome Boateng (Jansen, 72) 3. Arne Friedrich 7. Bastian Schweinsteiger 6. Sami Khedira 13. Thomas Muller 8. Mesut Ozil 10. Lukas Podolski 11. Miroslav Klose
12. Tim Wiese (GK) 2. Marcell Jansen 4. Dennis Aogo 5. Serdar Tasci 9. Stefan Kiessling 14. Holger Badstuber 15. Piotr Trochowski 18. Toni Kroos 19. Jeronimo Baretto Cacau 21. Marko Marin 22. Jorg Butt (GK) 23. Mario Gomez