Only a fool would bet on that happening again.
Saturday’s quarter final match in Cape Town is between the World Cup’s two highest-scoring, most captivating teams.
Germany, as they showed in demolishing Australia 4-0, is showing an unusual amount of flair for a side known for its organization more than ball skills. Argentina, meanwhile, have silenced the naysayers who believed the team’s erratic qualifying campaign was a sign of an impending early plane ride home.
Either side could win, but if Argentina reaches the semi-finals for the first time since 1990, then it will be because of these three factors:
1) Diego Maradona. Not because he’s a great coach – he isn’t. But the greatest Argentine player of all time still has that something that inspires people. Just seeing him there on the touchline, hand stuffed under his armpits, scowling, pacing, swearing at bad calls, and jumping into the arms of his colleagues when Argentina scores, it means something to his players. His presence alone can inspire his charges to go the extra mile.
2) Argentina’s strikers. Whether they will get the service they deserve is one thing. But if they get it, they sure know what to do with it. There’s Gonzalo Higuain, tied for top scorer in the tournament to date with four goals. Alongside him is Carlos Tevez, a man who does not know the meaning of a lost cause. And on the bench they have Diego Milito, who scored the two goals that gave Inter the Champions League title and yet still somehow isn’t first choice for his country. Ditto Sergio Aguero, who has looked smoking in his two appearances so far. Even the lumbering Martin Palermo has come on and scored.
3) Lionel Messi. The world’s No. 1 player. Need I say more?
Don't buy the argument? Read three reasons why Germany will likely beat Argentina.
World Cup 101: