#1 thats a little deeper than usual. von jin shuiqian 12.11.2019 03:18

4-0. July 3, 2010. FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals. Germany and Argentina in Cape Town, South Africa. We turned up for a football match. We witnessed a massacre. Four years and 10 days later, the re-match. This time its for the FIFA World Cup. I could have sworn I witnessed the future World Cup winners that day. I just wouldnt have thought they would have had to wait four long years for the chance to be crowned World Champions. Germany was that good. Argentina was not even close in any facet of the game. German midfield dominance, well-worked goals, straightforward finishes and Lionel Messi was a ghost. The better team beat the best player that day. There is very little reason to believe the script will be flipped Sunday. The Maracana is an appropriate venue for a Germany-Argentina re-match as such. Few are backing Argentinas chances, and rightfully so. Likewise, few considered Uruguay worthy challengers to Brazil in the 1950 World Cup final; the last World Cup hosted by Brazil and last final at the Maracana. Uruguay shocked the world that day. 1-0 was the final. Argentina will look to do the same, which would deliver a similar blow to their rival, Brazil. Winning a World Cup on Brazilian soil while the natives exposed as fraudulent tournament contenders would cast an even deeper cut to the already gaping wounds felt by the nation. Brazilian support of Germany will be popular amidst the sea of blue and white that has descended upon Rio. Other than venue, what has changed in four years since the German demolition of Argentina in Cape Town? Many will argue Argentina has a better team make-up and proper tactical leadership under head coach Alejandro Sabella. The team plays much better defensive football, having not conceding since the group stage. Messi is the star and has done the heavy lifting. Javier Mascherano has been a pain in the butt (pardon the pun) proving his worth as a standout defensive midfielder. Goalkeeper Sergio Romero has made timely saves, namely against Iran helping set the stage for Messis late magic. The rest of the team has been surprisingly average considering they have not trailed in the competition. You can only beat whom you play. Theres no question Argentina has had the easiest road to Rio. If Angel Di Maria (thigh) is fit to play, which is a serious question mark, six starters will return from the Argentina XI that was embarrassed in 2010. No Di Maria would be a significant loss, as the winger serves as the best link to Messi, opening up space and adding much needed pace and quality down the wings. Sabella has no ready-made replacement for Di Maria – a worry among many for the Argentine tactician. As collective, its indisputable this team is better than the 2010 edition. They are even better than they were on June 15 when they started their Brazilian adventure at the Maracana against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sabella switched from a 3-5-2 he started the tournament to a more traditional 4-3-3, with Messi dropping deep from time to time to get more involved in the play. The shape has been better, and has been good enough to grind out results, but two goals in the knockout rounds doesnt flatter. Belgian Coach Marc Wilmots called Argentina ordinary after defeat in the round of 16. Although this assessment is a little harsh, it would be difficult to find reason to shower the South Americans with praise either. Hope remains an improved performance has been saved for the grandest of stages. And theres always a chance the four-time Ballon dOr winner can dig deep to unleash some more of his special, game-changing kind of magic. But other than that, there is very little reason to believe Argentina will truly concern the German powerhouse. Reaching for historical arguments such as no European team has ever won a World Cup in the Americas fails to hold water. More recent evidence is more poignant than an antiquated argument from previous eras when travel and continental exposure of players was much more limited. Bottom-line is this World Cup is Germanys to lose, not Argentinas to win. What has changed for Germany in four years? They have become better as a team and their main challenger, Spain, is long gone at this tournament. Germany has been the best team at this World Cup and its hardly an argument. Bigger picture, if it were not for Spains dominance over the last six years, we would be discussing German success as glowingly as we do the tiki-taka. Success has come through familiarity and shared adversity. Glory hasnt come easy for Die Mannschaft in recent years, but the fruits of their labour, patience and cultivation of a collective identity are about to be rewarded. I flew to Durban a few days after Germanys masterclass against Argentina in 2010 for the semi-final against Spain. Just as they schooled Argentina earlier that week, Germany was taught a footballing lesson that day, being made look to be second-class citizens in a 1-0 loss. The gap in quality and performance was much greater than the scoreline. Spain dominated the ball and Germany couldnt touch it. There wasnt even a chance to unleash their daunted and exceptionally clinical counter-attack. Carles Puyols goal in the 73rd minute signaled No Mas. It was a thorough beating, one not to be forgotten. Nor was lesson taught by Spain in the EURO 2008 final in Vienna. It was also a 1-0 scoreline, but Germany only managed one shot on target. The disappointment in 2010 was ever more painful because the sizeable gap in finished product between nations remained. It may have been a younger German team in South Africa, but that didnt matter. The bar had been set and Germany again failed to clear it. Frustration continued into 2012, with this time Italy proving too difficult to breakdown in a 2-1 semi-final loss. Close, but not there yet. Germany didnt panic. Joachim Loew remained as head coach, a position he has held since 2006. Patience has been exercised as a young, talented, and unified generation of German footballers has been ushered through the system. It starts at the developmental level. Neuer, Howedes, Boateng, Hummels, Khedira, and Ozil all started for the 2009 UEFA European U-21 Championship side. They have grown and moved into the senior ranks together. Nine players, including five of the aforementioned names, which beat Argentina in 2010, will start Sunday. There will be eight returning starting players from the setback in Warsaw two years ago. Its remarkable consistency for a country with plenty of tactical and positional options. And it breeds success. The familiarity comes at the club level as well. Six players who will start in the World Cup final were also part of the Bayern Munich team who suffered home heartache in the Champions League final against Chelsea in 2012. They were clearly the better side on home soil at the Allianz Arena that day. Penalties undid them. Another lesson well taken. A year later, disappointment turned to elation with a Champions League final victory at Wembley over fellow German side Borussia Dortmund. A culture of winning, cultivated. The learning curve continued this month in Brazil. A late injury to Marco Reus during pre-tournament preparations meant a change of thought. Mario Gotze was the preferred replacement. The decision to start Philipp Lahm in central midfield was also made, rather than having the captain as menace in a freelance right-back role. After getting off to a flier in a 4-0 victory over 10-man Portugal, the plaudits became muted after three unspectacular performances against Ghana, the United States and Algeria. Germany looked particularly unimpressive against the latter, with the North Africans taking them to extra time before being disposed. The back four was flat, slow and flawed. And a more direct approach in attack was required to get the most out of all the superior movement off the ball. A tournament-ending injury to the average Shkodran Mustafi forced Loews hand, finally deploying Lahm at right back. The dominant three-headed midfield of Schweinsteiger, Kroos, and Khedira was re-united. And the lone remaining player from Germanys 2002 World Cup final appearance, Miroslav Klose entered the starting XI, preferred over Gotze, to hold the high line. Each move worked to perfection. Germany out-classed a previously impressive France team before running all over hosts Brazil in a shock 7-1 result. Klose set a new record for World Cup goals (16) along the way, and the more youthful Thomas Muller, 24, scored his fifth of the tournament, and 10th overall in World Cup play. The questionable backline has looked rocked solid with Mats Hummels leading the line. And no goalkeeper has looked more composed, confident and positionally sound than the impeccable Manuel Neuer. We can talk up individual performances all we like. We tend to do that in sports. Its an easier conversation to have. But in truth, this German team is better discussed as a sum of all parts. There is exceptional balance in the current team. Typical German football traits of size, strength and efficiency are all plain to see. Its the imaginative, football intelligence side thats much more impressive. One needs look no further than Germanys first goal of the tournament. The Germans overloaded on the Portuguese left side with exceptional movement in and out of space. Superb one-touch football where movement off the ball is as important as the touches on it led to defender Joao Pereira having little choice than to take Muller down in the box for a penalty. Find weakness and expose it. The theme of superior football intelligence, movement and collective understanding has carried over to where we are today. This all coming from a team with an average age of 25.9: a young squad, yet so experienced. Its easy to criticize Brazils defensive frailties in the embarrassing semi-final loss. But credit must not be taken away from Germanys ability to move forward in numbers with pace and purpose. For example, Kroos typical sits back and provides service from deep positions. That wasnt the case early against Brazil, with Kroos getting in more advanced positions down the left, often-times further up field than Mesut Ozil. Its the relentlessness and understanding of their waves of attack that make this team special. This has less to do with individual quality than it does mutual understanding about the way they play and personal responsibility within the system. We are witness currently to a special generation of German footballers, not that this is anything new. No country has made more World Cup semi-finals (12) than the Germans. The most recent unprecedented run of form (four World Cup semi-finals in a row) is the latest testament to a superior football philosophy and internal development. The only thing missing is a major title. Sunday is their best chance. The World Cup Trophy and a fourth World title is within reach. Germany is the better team, and the better team should beat the better player. Just like in Cape Town in 2010. This is Germanys World Cup to win. They can only beat themselves. Not this time. Not this team. Mike Scott Jersey . Various media outlets, including the Detroit Free Press, indicate a deal is close, while USA Today cited an unidentified person directly involved with the negotiations as saying the pact is for two years. Zack Greinke Astros Jersey . 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The Spurs signed Parker to a multi-year contract extension on Friday, ensuring that the six-time All-Star point guard will be in the fold whether Duncan and Ginobili are able to continue their careers or not.VANCOUVER - The New York Rangers knew exactly what to expect from the Vancouver Canucks and made them pay dearly.Mats Zuccarello scored twice and Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves Saturday as New York steamrolled Vancouver 5-1 by taking advantage of the Canucks tendency to pinch their defence at the opposing teams blue-line.The Rangers scored on three odd-man rushes in quick succession to effectively put the game out of reach before it was seven minutes old.We pre-scouted, our coaches talked about that a lot, said New York defenceman Ryan McDonagh, who opened the scoring. It was going to be a big job for our wingers to either hold onto pucks or not get it back to them or get it out of the zone.We were able to do that right away in the first period and we got some good looks because of it.J.T. Miller and Marc Staal had the other goals for New York (13-10-4), while Rick Nash and Derick Brassard each added two assists.We talked about them pinching, said Lundqvist, whose team hadnt played since Monday and had lost two of its last three. I didnt think they were going to go that hard every time. It was almost like a 50-50 puck they were going for it and we made them pay, especially in the first period.Nick Bonino had the only goal for Vancouver (18-10-2), while Ryan Miller made 18 stops in taking the ugly loss.Theres no excuse for that. We know that weve got to be better than that, said Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins. Sometimes theres nights like this. Theyre never acceptable, but the only thing we can do is get better. We have no choice. The only choice we have is to get better.The Canucks were playing at home for the first time since Nov. 25 after wrapping up a season-long seven-game road trip that saw them go a respectable 3-3-1, but finish with consecutive defeats in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Desjardins said changes will be coming in his teams approach ahead of Wednesdays home tilt against the Dallas Stars.You play a certain way and we played a certain way and now were getting caught on it, he said. We try to play an aggressive style and when it doesnt work it goes the other way and it was going the other way tonight.I think we have to make some adjustments in the system.After a bad pinch from defenceman Ryan Stanton — one of many culprits on this night — Jesper Fast fed McDonagh on a 3-on-1 break for his first of the season at 2:36 of the opening period to make it 1-0.The Rangers then somehow broke in on a 4-on-1 rush shortly after that failed to connect before J.T. Miller buried his third of the season on a 2-on-1 break with a nice move to the backhand at 3:19.Zuccarello continued the onslaught at 6:46 on another 3-on-1, ripping home his fifth of the campaign as New York scored on three straight shots.Wrong decisions all over the ice, said Canucks captain Henrik Sedin. Forwards not coming back, not keeping the thhird guy high, defence pinching when they shouldnt.dddddddddddd On every one of those you can point out three or four mistakes. Its not just one guy, its from all five guys on the ice.Ryan Miller couldnt be faulted on any of the goals, but still felt the sting of being down three so early at home.We got caught a few times and they made the odd-man rushes count. I would have liked to have been a little bit more available to make a save for the boys, but it didnt work out, he said. They set up some plays and made them count.Staal made it 4-1 at 7:17 of the second when his first of the season found its way through a screen past Ryan Miller, who looked especially frustrated and shrugged his shoulders as the Rangers celebrated at the Canucks blue-line.New Yorks Martin St. Louis was awarded a penalty shot just over five minutes later after getting hooked on a breakaway, but he couldnt beat the Vancouver goalie.But any good feeling didnt last long as Zuccarello scored his second of the night and sixth of the season with 2:21 left in the period by tapping home a slick pass from Brassard.Youve got to give yourself a chance to win and we didnt, said Desjardins. We cant blame anybody but ourselves in the structure. Its the not the players, its the coaches. Its my fault. If were getting scored on like that then weve got to do some adjustments system-wise. Weve all got to get better.The one thing about games like that is you just realize you need each other. You cant do it by yourself. One guy cant do it, you need each other. As a group weve got to get better.Vancouver finally got on the board when Bonino broke Lundqvists shutout bid at 4:20 of the third with his eighth of the season and first in 16 games, but it was far too late to influence an outcome that was decided early.Youre going to go through a season, youre going to have to find a way to dig out of things, said Miller. This is our first opportunity to have to dig out of a hole thats a little deeper than usual. See how we respond here. Youre not going to go 82 (games) without a stretch like this.For us to be a team that is going to do anything worthwhile at the end of the season were going to have to learn how to handle ourselves emotionally and handle the adjustments we need to make and go from here.Id like to see a nice response next game and well see if were ready to dig out or just dig it deeper.Notes: Boninos goal was his first point in seven games. ... Saturday marked the Rangers first game outside of the Eastern time zone since the season opener against St. Louis. ... Canucks forward Derek Dorsett suited up for Vancouver after missing Fridays practice to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. Dorsett was acquired in an off-season trade with the Rangers. ... New York visits the Calgary Flames on Sunday and the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. ' ' '

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