Third spot kick: Loew’s men look to end on a high
Germany and Uruguay will hope to salvage some pride in their third-place playoff match today after devastating semifinal defeats earlier this week. The two teams were largely written-off in the run-up to the finals but can hold their heads high after some stunning performances against top-ranked sides.Tactically yours | Brief match analysissports Updated: Jul 10, 2010 00:37 IST
Germany and Uruguay will hope to salvage some pride in their third-place playoff match on Saturday after devastating semifinal defeats earlier this week.
The two teams were largely written-off in the run-up to the finals but can hold their heads high after some stunning performances against top-ranked sides before their respective exits to Spain and Netherlands in the last four.
Germany's high-scoring young side are determined to cap their impressive World Cup with one last win where coach Joachim Loew promised his bitterly disappointed players will be in the right frame of mind and ready to win.
“The disappointment is there but now we need to build up the team a bit,” he said. “I'm certain we will go into the match with the necessary focus. No one needs to hang their heads low and we want to have a good final match,” said Loew.
History will not favour twice World Cup winners Uruguay after fourth place finishes the last two times they reached the semifinals, losing out in the playoff to Austria in 1954 and the Germans in 1970.
Germany have finished third thrice and lost the playoff only once in 1958, to France.
Two players central to the German and Uruguayan marches through the knockout stages will be available again after suspensions that weighed heavily on both teams in the semis.
Attacking midfielder Thomas Mueller was sorely missed by the Germans on Wednesday and will likely start, as will Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, whose handball on the goal line late in the match against Ghana helped put his team in the last four. Uruguay could be without in-form marksman Diego Forlan on Saturday because of a thigh problem sustained in the semis.
Three players — Forlan, Mueller and Miroslav Klose — are joint second in the scoring charts with four goals each. They all have a chance to contend for the golden boot if they can score.