Germany in Semi-Final After Penalty Drama Against Argentina | Match Reports | DW | 30.06.2006
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Match Reports

Germany in Semi-Final After Penalty Drama Against Argentina

The first World Cup quarter-final of 2006 between Germany and Argentina went to the wire and a penalty shoot-out after the two sides played out a 1-1 draw after extra-time. Germany won the shoot-out 4-2.

The German team celebrates as Jens Lehmann saves Esteban Cambiasso's penalty

The German team celebrates as Jens Lehmann saves Esteban Cambiasso's penalty

Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was the toast of Germany as the hosts progressed into the semi-finals of the World Cup with a sensational 4-2 penalty shootout win over Argentina in Berlin on Friday.

With the game unsettled at 1-1 after extra-time Arsenal goalkeeper Lehmann stepped up to save spot-kicks from Roberto Ayala and Esteban Cambiasso to ensure celebration parties across Germany.

A rare goal from 33-year-old defender Ayala four minutes after the interval put Argentina ahead and they held the lead until the 80th minute.

But with the majority of the 72,000 fans driving them on Germany equalized with Miroslav Klose heading in his fifth goal of the finals.

Extra-time failed to separate the teams and penalties were needed to decide the tie.

Germany had won all three of their previous World Cup shoot-outs and converted all of their four penalties to march into the last four.

Germany will now face Italy, which cruised past Ukraine 3-0 in Friday's other quarter-final.

For two-time winners Argentina it was heartbreak and their emotions boiled over after the final whistle with several players involved in scuffles as tempers frayed.

Argentina coach Jose Pekerman made three changes to the team that beat Mexico in extra-time with the biggest surprise seeing Javier Saviola dropped to the substitute's bench for Carlos Tevez.

Germany manager Jürgen Klinsmann, part of the West Germany side that beat Argentina 1-0 in the 1990 World Cup final, stuck by the same team that beat Sweden in the second round.

Germany's flying start stifled by Argentina's midfield

WM 2006 Viertelfinale Deutschland Argentinien Spielszene

The midfield battle stopped Germany's fluid style

The hosts had scored after four minutes in each of their last two matches - although they did not manage an early breakthrough this time - and started off at a frantic pace to unsettle the Argentines.

Argentina playmaker Riquelme created the first real danger in the game with his in-swinging corner forcing a clearance at the near post.

In the 16th minute Germany had their first opening with Ballack latching onto a cross but he could only divert his header wide.

With the game scoreless at half-time both managers had their players fired up for the second half and Argentina had Juan Sorin booked meaning he would miss the semi-final.

Ayala scores rare goal to test German character

But Argentina stomached that blow and four minutes after the interval they took the lead through an unlikely source. Riquelme curled in a corner from the right and veteran Ayala, winning his 105th cap, powered in a header.

WM 2006 Viertelfinale Deutschland Argentinien Torjubel

Ayala is mobbed by his ecstatic colleagues

It was the first time Germany, who had kept three consecutive clean sheets, had gone behind in the tournament and they responded by piling forward.

Ballack had a chance to equalize on the hour mark but Ayala was on hand to block the Germany captain's shot.

Maxi Rodriguez had a chance to wrap up the game on 66 minutes for Argentina but shot into the side netting.

It was a costly mistake as Germany leveled in the 80th minute with substitute Tim Borowski flicking on a cross and Klose heading in.

Extra-time was needed and Fabricio Coloccini hit the crossbar with what looked like a misdirected cross.

Come the hour, come the man as Lehmann delivers

The lottery of penalties was to decide the match. With home support and good past experiences Germany seemed the inevitable winner.

Germany's nerve held out once again. The Germans kept up their incredible spot kick record as keeper Jens Lehmann twice guessed right to save from Ayala and Cambiasso.

Lehmann lay on the ground to contemplate the possibility of being cast as hero -- or villain --before rival and 2002 first choice German keeper Oliver Kahn came over to wish him luck.

WM 2006 Viertelfinale Deutschland Argentinien Jens Lehmann

Lehmann gets down well to deny Ayala

It seemed to do the trick for Lehmann, whereas the unfortunate Leonardo Franco, a 28-year-old from Atletico Madrid who had to seize his chance in the limelight after replacing the injured Roberto Abbondanzieri 20 minutes from the end of normal time, was unable to stop any German strikes.

German penalty heroes keep Mannschaft record going

Oliver Neuville smashed the Germans ahead but Julio Cruz leveled. Skipper Michael Ballack then sent Franco the wrong way and then Lehmann guessed right, going to his left to smother a poor Ayala kick whereas Lukas Podolski showed nerves of steel to make it 3-1 for the hosts.

Maxi Rodriguez saw his shot squeeze low past Lehmann for 3-2 but Tim Borowski took Die Mannschaft to the brink with Franco going the wrong way.

Inter Milan's Cambiasso then hit his effort straight at Lehmann, who was promptly smothered by the whole squad and coaching staff before some of the Argentine players engaged in a brief bout of frustrated fisticuffs with Gabriel Heinze and German team manager Oliver Bierhoff having to be pulled apart.

Germany thus maintained their perfect World Cup penalty shoot-out record, having beaten France (1982), Mexico (1986) and England (1990) - with Uli Stielike being the only German to have missed one, against the French.

In contrast, Argentina spoilt their record after beating Yugoslavia (1990), Italy (1990) and England (1998).

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