And so another South American giant falls.
Germany were simply too good. They spread the ball wide to the flanks while the Argentines were squeezed in the centre of the park. Germany won most of the 50/50 balls and stayed on their feet while the scrambling Argentines struggled to find a plan B as they fed off scraps.
In soccer and human terms – the German side looked like they wanted it more.
German coach Joachim Low has a well-balanced team with the goal-scoring touch of veteran Miroslav Klose who hit the net twice today, and the youth and energy of captain Philipp Lahm and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
To the neutral, they are irresistible and this performance was as complete as this World Cup has witnessed.
It all started so well for the Argentine supporters. Before the start, their massed ranks taunted a group of Brazilians in the crowd, waving their hands in a mock adios to their rivals. All around the ground, Argentine flags and supporters outnumbered the Germans by a conservative three to one.
Their chanting even dampened the noise of the vuvuzelas, and their hand-clenching and flag-waving support was an enchanting sight against the backdrop of a sunlit Table Mountain.
But as the goals went in, the cockiness ebbed away to be replaced by German disbelief in the stands. Their team were overpowering the Latin Americans. Gradually the posters and flags were removed from the stands but to their credit, few of their shellshocked fans left the arena as the giant TV screens showed a wooping Chancellor Angela Merkel enjoying her team’s day in the sun in the VIP box which for once was full.
But it was too much for Argentine couple Maria and Juan Alvarez from Mendoza. They had traveled to South Africa three days ago to watch the match and were bitterly disappointed. Mr. Alvarez said: “We did not play well, not enough passion for the shirt. We played around in midfield instead of getting the ball forward to Messi. But they were the better side.”
Not surprisingly, German fans outside the ground were beaming and in confident mood. Marius Bluemel, originally from Bremen but now living in Cape Town, said: “I am ecstatic. They played like a team, passing and tackling for one another and it was incredible.
“The German team played like a unit and that is why they are doing so well. If they continue like that, they can win the World Cup.”
And few people trailing out of today’s stadium would disagree.
World Cup 101: