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Germany trashes Argentina 4-0

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 07:14 AM
CAPE TOWN, South Africa -

No trash talking needed. Germany was just too good for Argentina.

Miroslav Klose scored twice to move into a tie for second on the all-time World Cup scoring list, and Thomas Mueller and Arne Friedrich added goals to give Germany a resounding 4-0 victory in the World Cup quarterfinals. As flashbulbs popped, the Germans hugged and high-fived each other before walking around the edge of the field, saluting their fans.

"I am just pleased that we are in the semifinals," Klose said. "That was our target."

Argentina coach Diego Maradona took a slow walk to midfield, hands jammed in his pockets, while several of his players broke down in tears. It was a surprisingly meek end for the Argentines, whose dominant run had given fans hope this might be a team capable of reaching the final for the first time since 1990, when Maradona led them on the field.

"I'm as disappointed as all Argentinians," said Maradona, who cast doubt on his future as national coach. "To see my country lose a football match is very hard for someone who has worn the shirt."

Instead, it is Germany that will play Spain in the semifinals Wednesday in Durban. This will be Germany's third straight trip to the semis and its 12th overall - nobody has more.

Argentina and Germany have had a testy relationship since trading World Cup titles in back-to-back finals 20 years ago, and it has been downright ugly lately.

After Germany eliminated Argentina on penalty kicks four years ago, also in the quarterfinals, the two teams exchanged punches and kicks in a scuffle. A few team officials even got involved in the scrape.

Germany didn't wait for the game to get its digs in this time, with Bastian Schweinsteiger on Wednesday accusing the Argentines of lacking respect for opponents and referees. Philipp Lahm chimed in a day later, essentially calling Argentina a bunch of hotheads.

Germany's spacing, pace and flat-out stingy defense made the Argentines look out of sorts. The Albiceleste didn't get their first shot on goal until the 33rd minute.

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