2010 FIFA World Cup knockout stage

The knockout stage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was the second and final stage of the World Cup, following the group stage. It began on 26 June with the round of 16 matches, and ended on 11 July with the final match of the tournament held at Soccer City, Johannesburg, in which Spain beat the Netherlands 1–0 after extra time to claim their first World Cup. The top two teams from each group (16 in total) advanced to the knockout stage to compete in a single-elimination style tournament. A third place match is included and played between the two losing teams of the semi-finals.

In the knockout stage (including the final), if a match was level at the end of 90 minutes, extra time of two periods (15 minutes each) would be played. If the score was still level after extra time, the match would be decided by a penalty shootout.[1]

All times listed are South African Standard Time (UTC+02)

Qualified teams

The top two placed teams from each of the eight groups qualified for the knockout stage.

Group Winners Runners-up
A  Uruguay  Mexico
B  Argentina  South Korea
C  United States  England
D  Germany  Ghana
E  Netherlands  Japan
F  Paraguay  Slovakia
G  Brazil  Portugal
H  Spain  Chile

Bracket

 
Round of 16Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
 
              
 
26 June – Port Elizabeth
 
 
 Uruguay2
 
2 July – Johannesburg (SC)
 
 South Korea1
 
 Uruguay (pen.)1 (4)
 
26 June – Rustenburg
 
 Ghana1 (2)
 
 United States1
 
6 July – Cape Town
 
 Ghana (a.e.t.)2
 
 Uruguay2
 
28 June – Durban
 
 Netherlands3
 
 Netherlands2
 
2 July – Port Elizabeth
 
 Slovakia1
 
 Netherlands2
 
28 June – Johannesburg (EP)
 
 Brazil1
 
 Brazil3
 
11 July – Johannesburg (Soccer City)
 
 Chile0
 
 Netherlands0
 
27 June – Johannesburg (SC)
 
 Spain (a.e.t.)1
 
 Argentina3
 
3 July – Cape Town
 
 Mexico1
 
 Argentina0
 
27 June – Bloemfontein
 
 Germany4
 
 Germany4
 
7 July – Durban
 
 England1
 
 Germany0
 
29 June – Pretoria
 
 Spain1 Third place
 
 Paraguay (pen.)0 (5)
 
3 July – Johannesburg (EP)10 July – Port Elizabeth
 
 Japan0 (3)
 
 Paraguay0 Uruguay2
 
29 June – Cape Town
 
 Spain1  Germany3
 
 Spain1
 
 
 Portugal0
 

Round of 16

Uruguay vs South Korea

Uruguay vs South Korea was the first match in the Round of 16. The match was held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth before a low crowd of 30,597.[2] Uruguay won the match 2–1. Uruguay's two goals came from Luis Suárez, the second of which broke a 1–1 deadlock in the 80th minute. Suárez's first was scored when Diego Forlán made a low cross from the left that was not dealt with by the Korean defence, leaving Suárez to score at the back post. Uruguay subsequently adopted a defensive posture and Korea had more chances to score. Eventually, Lee Chung-yong equalised in the 68th minute, scoring a headed goal following a free kick. Despite Korea then having chances to win the match, it was Suárez who scored Uruguay's winner in the 80th minute with a curling strike from the edge of the 18-yard box that went in off the inside of the post. Suarez's goal was regarded as one of the tournament's best.[3] Korea missed more good chances in the final minutes of the game, giving Uruguay victory and passage to the quarter-finals for the first time since 1970, where they would face Ghana.[3][4] After the match, the Uruguayan coach Óscar Tabárez attributed his team's successful run to the number of players with experience at top-level overseas clubs.[5] Korean coach Huh Jung-moo claimed his side "controlled" the match and that Uruguay's goals were "lucky".[6]

Uruguay 2–1 South Korea
Report
Uruguay[7]
South Korea[7]
GK1Fernando Muslera
RB16Maxi Pereira
CB2Diego Lugano (c)
CB3Diego Godín 46'
LB4Jorge Fucile
RM17Egidio Arévalo Ríos
DM15Diego Pérez
LM11Álvaro Pereira 74'
RF7Edinson Cavani
CF10Diego Forlán
LF9Luis Suárez 84'
Substitutions:
DF6Mauricio Victorino 46'
MF14Nicolás Lodeiro 74'
MF20Álvaro Fernández 84'
Manager:
Óscar Tabárez
GK18Jung Sung-ryong
RB22Cha Du-ri 69'
CB4Cho Yong-hyung 83'
CB14Lee Jung-soo
LB12Lee Young-pyo
CM16Ki Sung-yong 85'
CM8Kim Jung-woo 38'
RW13Kim Jae-sung 61'
AM7Park Ji-sung (c)
LW17Lee Chung-yong
CF10Park Chu-young
Substitutions:
FW20Lee Dong-gook 61'
MF19Yeom Ki-hun 85'
Manager:
Huh Jung-moo

Man of the Match:
Luis Suárez (Uruguay)

Assistant referees:
Jan-Hendrik Salver (Germany)
Mike Pickel (Germany)
Fourth official:
Joel Aguilar (El Salvador)
Fifth official:
Juan Zumba (El Salvador)

United States vs Ghana

United States vs Ghana was played on 26 June 2010 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg. The match was watched by 19 million Americans, making it the most watched association football match in American television history.[8] The match was won by Ghana in extra time, after Asamoah Gyan broke a 1–1 deadlock. Kevin-Prince Boateng scored the opening goal of the match for Ghana in the fifth minute. The goal followed an error by Ricardo Clark, who lost the ball to Ghana in midfield. Boateng took the ball to the edge of the penalty area, beating U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard with a low left foot shot. Landon Donovan equalised with a penalty kick in the 62nd minute, awarded after Jonathan Mensah fouled Clint Dempsey. The US had chances to win the game thereafter, but they were unable to get past Ghana's goalkeeper Richard Kingson. The match thus went to extra time. In the third minute, Gyan latched onto a high long ball, chesting it down and holding off two defenders before scoring the winner.[9] After the match, Ghana's coach Milovan Rajevac hailed his side's achievement in becoming one of the "best eight teams in the world", but regretted the number of players that would miss the quarter-final against Uruguay because of injury or suspension.[10] The president of the United States Soccer Federation, Sunil Gulati, lamented the team's failure to make the quarter-finals and thereby further raise the profile of the sport in the U.S.[11]

United States 1–2 (a.e.t.) Ghana
Report
United States[12]
Ghana[12]
GK1Tim Howard
RB6Steve Cherundolo 18'
CB15Jay DeMerit
CB3Carlos Bocanegra (c) 68'
LB12Jonathan Bornstein
CM4Michael Bradley
CM13Ricardo Clark 7' 31'
RM8Clint Dempsey
LM10Landon Donovan
CF17Jozy Altidore 91'
CF20Robbie Findley 46'
Substitutions:
MF19Maurice Edu 31'
MF22Benny Feilhaber 46'
FW9Herculez Gomez 91'
Manager:
Bob Bradley
GK22Richard Kingson
CB4John Paintsil
CB5John Mensah (c)
CB8Jonathan Mensah 61'
RWB7Samuel Inkoom 113'
LWB2Hans Sarpei 73'
CM6Anthony Annan
CM23Kevin-Prince Boateng 78'
RW21Kwadwo Asamoah
LW13André Ayew 90+2'
CF3Asamoah Gyan
Substitutions:
DF19Lee Addy 73'
MF10Stephen Appiah 78'
MF11Sulley Muntari 113'
Manager:
Milovan Rajevac

Man of the Match:
André Ayew (Ghana)

Assistant referees:
Gábor Erős (Hungary)
Tibor Vámos (Hungary)
Fourth official:
Michael Hester (New Zealand)
Fifth official:
Tevita Makasini (Tonga)

Germany vs England

Germany and England played each other on 27 June 2010 at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. Germany took the lead in the 20th minute after English defenders Matthew Upson and John Terry were at fault in allowing Miroslav Klose to latch on to a long goal kick from Manuel Neuer and score. Lukas Podolski doubled Germany's lead 12 minutes later, although England pulled one goal back through Upson in the 37th minute, heading in a cross from Steven Gerrard.[13] A controversial moment then occurred in the 39th minute: a shot by Frank Lampard was not awarded as a goal despite the ball bouncing off the crossbar and clearly crossing the line by at least a yard. Had the goal been awarded, England would have equalised at 2–2. Thomas Müller subsequently scored two goals in the second half, extending Germany's lead to 4–1.[14] His first came at the end of a swift German counter-attack in the 67th minute, the goal being assisted by Bastian Schweinsteiger. His second came from an error by Gareth Barry and was set up by Mesut Özil.[13] Germany won the match, 4–1.[15] Germany progressed to meet Argentina in the quarter-final.

The ghost goal incident in this match was a major factor in the 2012 IFAB decision to implement new rules allowing goal-line technology to be used in football.[16]

Germany 4–1 England
Report
Germany[17]
England[17]
GK1Manuel Neuer
RB16Philipp Lahm (c)
CB3Arne Friedrich 47'
CB17Per Mertesacker
LB20Jérôme Boateng
CM7Bastian Schweinsteiger
CM6Sami Khedira
RW13Thomas Müller 72'
AM8Mesut Özil 83'
LW10Lukas Podolski
CF11Miroslav Klose 72'
Substitutions:
MF15Piotr Trochowski 72'
FW23Mario Gómez 72'
FW9Stefan Kießling 83'
Manager:
Joachim Löw
GK1David James
RB2Glen Johnson 81' 87'
CB15Matthew Upson
CB6John Terry
LB3Ashley Cole
RM16James Milner 64'
CM8Frank Lampard
CM14Gareth Barry
LM4Steven Gerrard (c)
CF19Jermain Defoe 71'
CF10Wayne Rooney
Substitutions:
MF11Joe Cole 64'
FW21Emile Heskey 71'
MF17Shaun Wright-Phillips 87'
Manager:
Fabio Capello

Man of the Match:
Thomas Müller (Germany)

Assistant referees:
Pablo Fandino (Uruguay)
Mauricio Espinosa (Uruguay)
Fourth official:
Martin Vázquez (Uruguay)
Fifth official:
Miguel Nievas (Uruguay)

Argentina vs Mexico

Argentina and Mexico met on 27 June 2010 at Soccer City in Johannesburg. Argentina won the match 3–1 for a place in the quarter-finals against Germany. The match was overshadowed by a refereeing error that allowed Argentina's opening goal. Carlos Tevez headed the ball into the net from a Lionel Messi pass in the 25th minute, but replays showed there were no players between Tevez and the goal, rendering his goal clearly offside.[18] Replays of the goal were shown in the stadium but the decision to award the goal was not overturned. Tevez said he knew that the goal was offside, but chose not to say anything.[19] Argentina's second goal came from a defensive error from Ricardo Osorio as a poor pass out of defence was snatched by Gonzalo Higuaín to round the keeper and score. After half-time, Tevez scored his second goal of the match to give Argentina a three-goal lead, with a long range shot that found the top corner of the Mexican goal. Javier Hernández scored for Mexico in the 71st minute but it turned out to be no more than a consolation goal, as Argentina held on to win 3–1.[20] Mexico's coach Javier Aguirre resigned after the match, accepting responsibility for not meeting the team's target of the quarter-finals.[21] Tevez conceded that he was aware his first goal was offside at the time,[22] although Aguirre deflected the blame for his side's loss away from the refereeing.[23]

Argentina 3–1 Mexico
Report
Attendance: 84,377
Argentina[24]
Mexico[24]
GK22Sergio Romero
RB15Nicolás Otamendi
CB2Martín Demichelis
CB4Nicolás Burdisso
LB6Gabriel Heinze
DM14Javier Mascherano (c)
RM20Maxi Rodríguez 87'
LM7Ángel Di María 79'
AM10Lionel Messi
CF11Carlos Tevez 69'
CF9Gonzalo Higuaín
Substitutions:
MF8Juan Sebastián Verón 69'
MF17Jonás Gutiérrez 79'
MF23Javier Pastore 87'
Manager:
Diego Maradona
GK1Óscar Pérez
RB5Ricardo Osorio
CB2Francisco Javier Rodríguez
CB4Rafael Márquez (c) 28'
LB3Carlos Salcido
RM16Efraín Juárez
CM6Gerardo Torrado
LM18Andrés Guardado 61'
AM17Giovani dos Santos
AM21Adolfo Bautista 46'
CF14Javier Hernández
Substitutions:
MF7Pablo Barrera 46'
FW9Guillermo Franco 61'
Manager:
Javier Aguirre

Man of the Match:
Carlos Tevez (Argentina)

Assistant referees:
Paolo Calcagno (Italy)
Stefano Ayroldi (Italy)
Fourth official:
Jerome Damon (South Africa)
Fifth official:
Célestin Ntagungira (Rwanda)

Netherlands vs Slovakia

The Netherlands and Slovakia played on 28 June 2010 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. The Netherlands won 2–1. The Netherlands' first goal was an excellent individual effort from Arjen Robben in the 18th minute, taking on the Slovakian defence with the ball before scoring from 25 yards. The Dutch had chances to extend their lead in the second half; Arjen Robben cut inside on his left foot just like he did when he scored the first goal, but this time the Slovak goalkeeper Ján Mucha saved the shot going to his far post. The Slovaks also had 2 big opportunities to equalize but forced 2 great saves from Maarten Stekelenburg. The Dutch however in the 84th minute sealed their win, with Wesley Sneijder scoring off an assist from Dirk Kuyt into an unguarded net after Kuyt got the ball past the Slovak keeper. Róbert Vittek slotted a penalty kick late in stoppage time, but it was no more than a consolation goal for Slovakia. The penalty had been awarded for a trip on Vittek by the Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.[25] The Netherlands' win threatened to be overshadowed by Robin van Persie responding angrily to being substituted by coach Bert van Marwijk. Van Marwijk called a team meeting over the incident, and insisted later that there was no residual unrest in the squad.[26][27]

Netherlands 2–1 Slovakia
Report
Netherlands[28]
Slovakia[28]
GK1Maarten Stekelenburg 90+3'
RB2Gregory van der Wiel
CB3John Heitinga
CB4Joris Mathijsen
LB5Giovanni van Bronckhorst (c)
DM6Mark van Bommel
DM8Nigel de Jong
RW7Dirk Kuyt
AM10Wesley Sneijder 90+2'
LW11Arjen Robben 31' 71'
CF9Robin van Persie 80'
Substitutions:
FW17Eljero Elia 71'
FW21Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 80'
MF20Ibrahim Afellay 90+2'
Manager:
Bert van Marwijk
GK1Ján Mucha
RB2Peter Pekarík
CB3Martin Škrtel 84'
CB16Ján Ďurica
LB5Radoslav Zabavník 88'
DM19Juraj Kucka 40'
RM7Vladimír Weiss
LM15Miroslav Stoch
AM17Marek Hamšík (c) 87'
CF18Erik Jendrišek 71'
CF11Róbert Vittek
Substitutions:
MF20Kamil Kopúnek 72' 71'
MF10Marek Sapara 87'
FW14Martin Jakubko 88'
Manager:
Vladimír Weiss

Man of the Match:
Arjen Robben (Netherlands)

Assistant referees:
Fermín Martínez Ibáñez (Spain)
Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez (Spain)
Fourth official:
Stéphane Lannoy (France)
Fifth official:
Laurent Ugo (France)

Brazil vs Chile

Brazil soundly defeated Chile 3–0 on 28 June 2010 at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg to progress to a quarter-final match against the Netherlands.[29] Brazil's first goal came from a corner kick taken by Maicon in the 34th minute, with Juan heading the ball into the goal without being marked. Brazil had doubled its lead within five minutes after a free-flowing passing movement involving Robinho and Kaká that teed up Luís Fabiano to score after taking the ball around the Chilean goalkeeper. Robinho himself sealed victory for Brazil in the second half, scoring following a long run with the ball by Ramires.[30] After the match, Chile's coach Marcelo Bielsa conceded that his team had been outplayed, arguing that in his position there was "little one can do" when up against a team of Brazil's quality.[31]

Brazil 3–0 Chile
Report
Attendance: 54,096
Referee: Howard Webb (England)
Brazil[32]
Chile[32]
GK1Júlio César
RB2Maicon
CB3Lúcio (c)
CB4Juan
LB6Michel Bastos
DM8Gilberto Silva
RM13Dani Alves
LM18Ramires 72'
AM10Kaká 30' 81'
SS11Robinho 85'
CF9Luís Fabiano 76'
Substitutions:
FW21Nilmar 76'
MF20Kléberson 81'
DF16Gilberto 85'
Manager:
Dunga
GK1Claudio Bravo (c)
RB4Mauricio Isla 62'
CB5Pablo Contreras 46'
CB18Gonzalo Jara
LB2Ismael Fuentes 68'
RM8Arturo Vidal 47'
CM6Carlos Carmona
LM15Jean Beausejour
RW7Alexis Sánchez
CF9Humberto Suazo
LW11Mark González 46'
Substitutions:
MF10Jorge Valdivia 46'
MF21Rodrigo Tello 46'
MF20Rodrigo Millar 80' 62'
Manager:
Marcelo Bielsa

Man of the Match:
Robinho (Brazil)

Assistant referees:
Darren Cann (England)
Mike Mullarkey (England)
Fourth official:
Martin Hansson (Sweden)
Fifth official:
Stefan Wittberg (Sweden)

Paraguay vs Japan

Paraguay and Japan met at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on 29 June 2010. The match was decided by a penalty shootout after the score was locked at 0–0 for 120 minutes. Paraguay won the shootout and progressed to its first ever World Cup quarter-final.[33] The match was a generally unexciting affair, as Japan adopted a defensive posture while Paraguay itself maintained a solid defence. The first half produced the occasional chance on goal with Lucas Barrios having a shot saved shortly before a long distance shot from Daisuke Matsui hit the crossbar of Paraguay's goal. The second half was similar, with either side producing occasional chances to score rather than periods of dominance. The result of the deadlock was extra time, which continued goalless. A penalty shootout ensued, in which Yuichi Komano missed a spot kick for Japan. Paraguay scored all five of its penalties, clinching the win and passage to the quarter-finals.[34] After the match, Japan's coach Takeshi Okada resigned and Shunsuke Nakamura retired from international football.[35]

Paraguay[36]
Japan[36]
GK1Justo Villar (c)
RB6Carlos Bonet
CB14Paulo da Silva
CB21Antolín Alcaraz
LB3Claudio Morel
DM20Néstor Ortigoza 75'
CM13Enrique Vera
CM16Cristian Riveros 118'
RW9Roque Santa Cruz 94'
LW10Édgar Benítez 60'
CF19Lucas Barrios
Substitutions:
FW18Nelson Valdez 60'
MF8Édgar Barreto 75'
FW7Óscar Cardozo 94'
Manager:
Gerardo Martino
GK21Eiji Kawashima
RB3Yūichi Komano
CB22Yuji Nakazawa
CB4Marcus Tulio Tanaka
LB5Yuto Nagatomo 72'
DM2Yuki Abe 81'
CM17Makoto Hasebe (c)
CM7Yasuhito Endō 113'
RW8Daisuke Matsui 58' 65'
LW16Yoshito Ōkubo 106'
CF18Keisuke Honda 90+3'
Substitutions:
FW9Shinji Okazaki 65'
MF14Kengo Nakamura 81'
FW11Keiji Tamada 106'
Manager:
Takeshi Okada

Man of the Match:
Keisuke Honda (Japan)

Assistant referees:
Peter Hermans (Belgium)
Walter Vromans (Belgium)
Fourth official:
Peter O'Leary (New Zealand)
Fifth official:
Matthew Taro (Solomon Islands)

Spain vs Portugal

Spain defeated Portugal 1–0 in the Iberian derby to progress to the quarter finals where they were to play Paraguay. The game took place on Tuesday 29 June 2010 at the Cape Town Stadium. Spain dominated the game with a ball possession ratio of 62% and several opportunities, but had to endure a pair of missed chances by the Portuguese in the first half, including one by Hugo Almeida which nearly resulted in a goal. In the second half, the Portuguese attacking threat decreased, and the entry of Fernando Llorente for Fernando Torres on the field brought new energy to the Spanish team. The only goal of the match came on the 63rd minute: David Villa picked up a brilliant pass by Xavi, having his first shot saved, but then lifted the rebound into the roof of the net.[37] Post-match replays showed that the goal was scored from an offside position (0.22m according to ESPN axis).[38][39][40][41][42][43]

Spain 1–0 Portugal
Report
Spain[44]
Portugal[44]
GK1Iker Casillas (c)
RB15Sergio Ramos
CB3Gerard Piqué
CB5Carles Puyol
LB11Joan Capdevila
CM16Sergio Busquets
CM14Xabi Alonso 74' 90+3'
RM8Xavi
LM6Andrés Iniesta
SS7David Villa 88'
CF9Fernando Torres 58'
Substitutions:
FW19Fernando Llorente 58'
FW17Pedro 88'
DF4Carlos Marchena 90+3'
Manager:
Vicente del Bosque
GK1Eduardo
RB21Ricardo Costa 89'
CB6Ricardo Carvalho
CB2Bruno Alves
LB23Fábio Coentrão
DM15Pepe 72'
CM19Tiago 80'
CM16Raul Meireles
RW11Simão 72'
LW7Cristiano Ronaldo (c)
CF18Hugo Almeida 58'
Substitutions:
MF10Danny 58'
FW9Liédson 72'
MF8Pedro Mendes 72'
Manager:
Carlos Queiroz

Man of the Match:
Xavi (Spain)

Assistant referees:
Ricardo Casas (Argentina)
Hernán Maidana (Argentina)
Fourth official:
Carlos Batres (Guatemala)
Fifth official:
Carlos Pastrana (Honduras)

Quarter-finals

Netherlands vs Brazil

The Netherlands versus Brazil was the first quarter-final match, held on 2 July 2010 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. The Netherlands won 2–1 after recovering from a 1–0 deficit, knocking the five-time world champions Brazil out of the tournament.[45] The Netherlands' team was affected by an injury to Joris Mathijsen before the match. His replacement in defence – André Ooijer – and fellow central defender John Heitinga were at fault for Brazil's opening goal in the 10th minute, when Robinho was allowed to latch onto a deep pass from Felipe Melo and score without being challenged by the defence.[46][47] For the rest of the first half, the Dutch were largely frustrated by the Brazilian defence, and needed to rely on Maarten Stekelenburg's goalkeeping to prevent Brazil from extending its lead. However, eight minutes after half-time, the Dutch equalised through a goal scored by Wesley Sneijder. The goal was initially recorded as an own goal by Felipe Melo, but FIFA overturned the decision to credit the goal to Sneijder.[48][49] Having equalised, the Netherlands subsequently took the lead from an Arjen Robben corner kick in the 68th minute, Sneijder heading the ball in after a flick-on from Dirk Kuyt. Brazil's chances of restoring parity were damaged when Felipe Melo was sent off for a stamp on Robben. The Netherlands held out for the win, thereby earning passage to the semi-finals.[46] Brazil's coach Dunga confirmed after the match that he would be leaving the position upon the expiry of his contract, admitting responsibility for Brazil's defeat.[50] The Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk attacked the Brazilian team after the match, claiming they had provoked his side, and that Melo's stamp on Robben left him "ashamed for Brazilian football."[51]

Netherlands 2–1 Brazil
Report
Netherlands[52]
Brazil[52]
GK1Maarten Stekelenburg
RB2Gregory van der Wiel 47'
CB3John Heitinga 14'
CB13André Ooijer 76'
LB5Giovanni van Bronckhorst (c)
DM6Mark van Bommel
DM8Nigel de Jong 64'
RW11Arjen Robben
AM10Wesley Sneijder
LW7Dirk Kuyt
CF9Robin van Persie 85'
Substitutions:
FW21Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 85'
Manager:
Bert van Marwijk
GK1Júlio César
RB2Maicon
CB3Lúcio (c)
CB4Juan
LB6Michel Bastos 37' 62'
DM5Felipe Melo 73'
RM13Dani Alves
LM8Gilberto Silva
AM10Kaká
SS11Robinho
CF9Luís Fabiano 77'
Substitutions:
DF16Gilberto 62'
FW21Nilmar 77'
Manager:
Dunga

Man of the Match:
Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)

Assistant referees:
Toru Sagara (Japan)
Jeong Hae-sang (South Korea)
Fourth official:
Khalil Al Ghamdi (Saudi Arabia)
Fifth official:
Hassan Kamranifar (Iran)

Uruguay vs Ghana

Uruguay and Ghana met on 2 July 2010 at Soccer City, Johannesburg for a place in the semi-final against the Netherlands. It was the first time that the teams had ever played each other in a senior competitive football match. After a dramatic 120 minutes of play (including extra time) that finished 1–1, Uruguay won in a penalty shoot-out 4–2.[53] Uruguay dominated the early periods of the match, but suffered an injury to captain Diego Lugano in the first half. Just before half-time, Ghana took the lead when Sulley Muntari was allowed time on the ball by Uruguay, and took advantage by scoring with a shot from 40 yards. After half-time, Diego Forlán pulled Uruguay level with a free kick from the left side of the field that went over the head of Ghana's goalkeeper Richard Kingson. While both teams had chances to win, the match proceeded to extra time as the scores remained level. Late in extra time, Ghana sent a free kick into the penalty area; Luis Suárez blocked Stephen Appiah's shot on the goal line.[54] On the rebound, Dominic Adiyiah's header was heading into the goal, but Suárez blatantly blocked the shot with his hands[55] to save what would have been the extra-time winner[56] and he was red carded. Asamoah Gyan missed the ensuing penalty kick off the crossbar[54] and Suárez celebrated the miss.[57][58] In the shootout, Gyan converted his penalty,[56] as did everybody else until Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera saved captain John Mensah's penalty (Ghana's third). Uruguay's Maxi Pereira then hit his penalty over the bar, but then Adiyiah's penalty was saved by Muslera.[53] Sebastián Abreu converted Uruguay's fifth spot kick by lightly chipping it Panenka-style to win the match.[59]

After the game, Suárez said, "I made the save of the tournament,"[56] and, referring to the infamous handball goal scored by Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup, claimed that "The 'Hand of God' now belongs to me". Suárez claimed he had no alternative and was acting out of instinct.[60] Forlán agreed that Suárez saved the game, "Suárez this time, instead of scoring goals, he saved one, I think he saved the game.[56] Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac said the play was an "injustice"[57] and Suárez was labeled a "villain"[60][61] and a "cheat".[55][62] But Uruguay coach, Óscar Tabárez, said these labels were too harsh: "Well, there was a handball in the penalty area, there was a red card and Suárez was thrown out. Saying that Ghana were cheated out of the game is too harsh. We have to go by the rules. It might have been a mistake by my player but I do not like that word 'cheating'."[63] Ghana was the last African team left in the tournament and if they had won, they would have been the first team from Africa to ever qualify for the semi-finals.[64] Thus, Suárez was said to have "enraged an entire continent [Africa]." But others viewed him as a hero[55][65] who sacrificed himself in the semi-final for the unlikely chance that his team could win.[62][66] A distraught Gyan conceded, "I would say Suárez is a hero now in his own country, because the ball was going in and he held it with his hand. He is a hero now."[64]

Uruguay[67]
Ghana[67]
GK1Fernando Muslera
RB16Maxi Pereira
CB2Diego Lugano (c) 38'
CB6Mauricio Victorino
LB4Jorge Fucile 20'
RM20Álvaro Fernández 46'
CM15Diego Pérez 59'
CM17Egidio Arévalo Ríos 48'
LM7Edinson Cavani 76'
CF9Luis Suárez 120+1'
CF10Diego Forlán
Substitutions:
DF19Andrés Scotti 38'
MF14Nicolás Lodeiro 46'
FW13Sebastián Abreu 76'
Manager:
Óscar Tabárez
GK22Richard Kingson
RB4John Paintsil 54'
CB15Isaac Vorsah
CB5John Mensah (c) 93'
LB2Hans Sarpei 77'
DM6Anthony Annan
RM7Samuel Inkoom 74'
CM21Kwadwo Asamoah
CM23Kevin-Prince Boateng
LM11Sulley Muntari 88'
CF3Asamoah Gyan
Substitutions:
MF10Stephen Appiah 74'
FW18Dominic Adiyiah 88'
Manager:
Milovan Rajevac

Man of the Match:
Diego Forlán (Uruguay)

Assistant referees:
José Manuel Silva Cardinal (Portugal)
Bertino Miranda (Portugal)
Fourth official:
Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)
Fifth official:
Fermín Martínez Ibáñez (Spain)

Argentina vs Germany

On 3 July 2010, Germany beat Argentina 4–0 at the Cape Town Stadium, to reach the semi-finals.[68] It was the third time in the tournament that Germany had scored four goals in a match. Germany's first goal was scored by Thomas Müller in the third minute of the match, with a header from a free kick taken by Bastian Schweinsteiger. Early in the second half, Argentina pressed Germany and came close to scoring on a number of occasions, but Germany hit back on a counter-attack in the 67th minute, when Miroslav Klose scored into an empty goal from a pass by Lukas Podolski. Germany's third came from Arne Friedrich after sliding it inside by a pass from Bastian Schweinsteiger seven minutes later, before Klose took the score to 4–0, volleying the ball into the net off a cross from Mesut Özil.[69] The 4–0 defeat was Argentina's biggest loss at a World Cup since 1974.[70] Germany's coach Joachim Löw hailed his side's performance as one of "absolute class,"[71] but admitted the suspension of Müller for picking up a yellow card was a blow.[72]

Argentina 0–4 Germany
Report
Argentina[73]
Germany[74]
GK22Sergio Romero
RB15Nicolás Otamendi 11' 70'
CB2Martín Demichelis
CB4Nicolás Burdisso
LB6Gabriel Heinze
RM20Maxi Rodríguez
DM14Javier Mascherano (c) 80'
LM7Ángel Di María 75'
AM10Lionel Messi
CF9Gonzalo Higuaín
CF11Carlos Tevez
Substitutions:
MF23Javier Pastore 70'
FW16Sergio Agüero 75'
Manager:
Diego Maradona
GK1Manuel Neuer
RB16Philipp Lahm (c)
CB17Per Mertesacker
CB3Arne Friedrich
LB20Jérôme Boateng 72'
DM6Sami Khedira 77'
DM7Bastian Schweinsteiger
RW13Thomas Müller 35' 84'
AM8Mesut Özil
LW10Lukas Podolski
CF11Miroslav Klose
Substitutions:
DF2Marcell Jansen 72'
MF18Toni Kroos 77'
MF15Piotr Trochowski 84'
Manager:
Joachim Löw

Man of the Match:
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)

Assistant referees:
Rafael Ilyasov (Uzbekistan)
Bakhadyr Kochkarov (Kyrgyzstan)
Fourth official:
Jerome Damon (South Africa)
Fifth official:
Enock Molefe (South Africa)

Paraguay vs Spain

On 3 July 2010, Spain defeated Paraguay 1–0, to secure entry to the semi-finals where they would meet Germany. It was the first time that Spain had progressed to the semi-final of a World Cup since 1950; while for Paraguay, the quarter-final appearance was also the country's best ever performance.[75] The first half of the match finished goalless, although both sides had chances to score and Paraguay's Nelson Valdez had a goal ruled out as offside. The match suddenly became eventful in the second half due to a string of penalty kicks. First, Óscar Cardozo was pulled down by Gerard Piqué in Spain's penalty area and Paraguay was awarded a penalty. Cardozo took the penalty himself but it was saved by Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Spain soon after launched an attack at the other end of the field, in which David Villa was ruled by the referee to have been brought down by Antolín Alcaraz. Xabi Alonso stepped up to take the penalty kick and seemed to have scored, only for the referee to order it be retaken because of encroachment by a Spanish player into the penalty area before the kick was taken. Xabi Alonso's retake was saved by Paraguayan goalkeeper Justo Villar. As a result, the score remained 0–0 after the three penalty kicks. However, Spain ultimately managed to take the lead in the 82nd minute: David Villa collected a rebounded shot off the post from Pedro, to score himself off the post. The goal turned out to be the winner for Spain.[75] After the match, Spain's coach Vicente del Bosque conceded that his side were not playing at their best and were starved of possession. He also noted his view that Spain's next opponents Germany were the best team at the World Cup.[76] Paraguay's coach Gerardo Martino stated he would be leaving his position at the end of his contract.[77]

Paraguay 0–1 Spain
Report
Paraguay[78]
Spain[78]
GK1Justo Villar (c)
RB2Darío Verón
CB14Paulo da Silva
CB21Antolín Alcaraz 59'
LB3Claudio Morel 71'
DM15Víctor Cáceres 59' 84'
RM11Jonathan Santana 88'
CM8Édgar Barreto 64'
LM16Cristian Riveros
SS18Nelson Valdez 72'
CF7Óscar Cardozo
Substitutions:
MF13Enrique Vera 64'
FW9Roque Santa Cruz 72'
FW19Lucas Barrios 84'
Manager:
Gerardo Martino
GK1Iker Casillas (c)
RB15Sergio Ramos
CB3Gerard Piqué 57'
CB5Carles Puyol 84'
LB11Joan Capdevila
DM16Sergio Busquets 63'
RM6Andrés Iniesta
CM8Xavi
LM14Xabi Alonso 75'
SS7David Villa
CF9Fernando Torres 56'
Substitutions:
MF10Cesc Fàbregas 56'
FW18Pedro 75'
DF4Carlos Marchena 84'
Manager:
Vicente del Bosque

Man of the Match:
Andrés Iniesta (Spain)

Assistant referees:
Leonel Leal (Costa Rica)
Carlos Pastrana (Honduras)
Fourth official:
Benito Archundia (Mexico)
Fifth official:
Héctor Vergara (Canada)

Semi-finals

Uruguay vs Netherlands

Uruguay played the Netherlands in the first semi-final on 6 July 2010 at the Cape Town Stadium. The Netherlands won the match 3–2, thereby qualifying for the final for the first time since the 1978 World Cup.[79] Uruguay adopted a defensive posture early in the match, but were only able to hold their opponents scoreless for 18 minutes, when Dutch captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst scored from 35 yards into the top right corner of the goal. However, the Netherlands were unable to capitalise on their lead, as Diego Forlán equalised in the 41st minute (1–1) when his shot from 25 yards hit squarely in the middle of the goal was misjudged by goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg who missed it by millimeters. The Netherlands regained the lead in the second half, as a pass from van der Vaart reached Sneijder who dished it into the side of the goal as Muslera dived and missed it by inches. Then, three minutes later, Kuyt crossed to Robben who headed it into the goal to make it 3–1. The Netherlands suffered a late scare when Maxi Pereira, who failed a penalty against Ghana, scored in stoppage time from a free kick; however, the score remained 3–2 despite desperate Uruguayan attempts to equalise.[80] After the match, Uruguay coach Óscar Tabárez spoke of his pride in his team for reaching the semi-finals.[81] The Netherlands progressed to the final of the tournament to face Spain.

Uruguay 2–3 Netherlands
Report
Uruguay[82]
Netherlands[82]
GK1Fernando Muslera
RB16Maxi Pereira 21'
CB3Diego Godín
CB6Mauricio Victorino
LB22Martín Cáceres 29'
RM15Diego Pérez
CM5Walter Gargano
CM17Egidio Arévalo Ríos
LM11Álvaro Pereira 78'
CF7Edinson Cavani
CF10Diego Forlán (c) 84'
Substitutions:
FW13Sebastián Abreu 78'
FW21Sebastián Fernández 84'
Manager:
Óscar Tabárez
GK1Maarten Stekelenburg
RB12Khalid Boulahrouz 78'
CB3John Heitinga
CB4Joris Mathijsen
LB5Giovanni van Bronckhorst (c)
DM6Mark van Bommel 90+5'
DM14Demy de Zeeuw 46'
RW11Arjen Robben 89'
AM10Wesley Sneijder 29'
LW7Dirk Kuyt
CF9Robin van Persie
Substitutions:
MF23Rafael van der Vaart 46'
FW17Eljero Elia 89'
Manager:
Bert van Marwijk

Man of the Match:
Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)

Assistant referees:
Rafael Ilyasov (Uzbekistan)
Bakhadyr Kochkarov (Kyrgyzstan)
Fourth official:
Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)
Fifth official:
Toru Sagara (Japan)

Germany vs Spain

On 7 July 2010, Spain defeated Germany 1–0 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to progress to the World Cup Final against the Netherlands. It was the first time that Spain had ever gone through to the final of the World Cup, while it was the second consecutive World Cup in which Germany had lost in the semi-finals, having lost to Italy at home four years before.[83]

Spain had the bulk of possession throughout the match, with Germany adopting a tight defensive structure. Germany created chances on the counter-attack, but Spain also went close to scoring on numerous occasions in each half. The match was deadlocked at 0–0 until the 73rd minute, when Spain was awarded a corner. The corner, taken by Xavi, was met by Carles Puyol, who headed the ball into the net as Manuel Neuer didn't do much to protect it to give Spain the lead. Thereafter, Spain protected its advantage and won the match.[84]

After the match, Spain's coach Vicente del Bosque praised the "excellent performance" of his team, while Germany's coach Joachim Löw predicted that Spain would win the final.[83]

Germany 0–1 Spain
Report
Attendance: 60,960
Germany[85]
Spain[85]
GK1Manuel Neuer
RB16Philipp Lahm (c)
CB3Arne Friedrich
CB17Per Mertesacker
LB20Jérôme Boateng 52'
DM6Sami Khedira 81'
DM7Bastian Schweinsteiger
RW15Piotr Trochowski 62'
AM8Mesut Özil
LW10Lukas Podolski
CF11Miroslav Klose
Substitutions:
DF2Marcell Jansen 52'
MF18Toni Kroos 62'
FW23Mario Gómez 81'
Manager:
Joachim Löw
GK1Iker Casillas (c)
RB15Sergio Ramos
CB3Gerard Piqué
CB5Carles Puyol
LB11Joan Capdevila
DM16Sergio Busquets
DM14Xabi Alonso 90+3'
RW6Andrés Iniesta
AM8Xavi
LW18Pedro 86'
CF7David Villa 81'
Substitutions:
FW9Fernando Torres 81'
MF21David Silva 86'
DF4Carlos Marchena 90+3'
Manager:
Vicente del Bosque

Man of the Match:
Xavi (Spain)

Assistant referees:
Gábor Erős (Hungary)
Tibor Vámos (Hungary)
Fourth official:
Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)
Fifth official:
Peter Hermans (Belgium)

Third place play-off

On 10 July 2010, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, Germany defeated Uruguay by 3–2 to claim third place at the World Cup for the second successive time after also finishing third at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[86] In the 19th minute, Bastian Schweinsteiger managed to take a shot towards the goal, which Muslera rebounded towards Thomas Müller who scored. Uruguay forced their way back into the game after Luis Suárez's pass put Edinson Cavani through on the left and he slid low into the far corner to put them on level terms after 28 minutes. Diego Forlán then put them ahead in the second half with a beautiful side volley from the edge of the penalty box while goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt didn't move off his line after 51 minutes. Marcell Jansen then scored on 56 minutes after Muslera came for Jérôme Boateng's cross but missed it right in front of Jansen allowing him to head into an empty net. Mesut Özil took a corner in the 82nd minute, which reached a German player, bounced off him and went up to Khedira's head, who headed it in. Uruguay almost forced extra time when Forlán curled a 92nd-minute free-kick onto the bar, but Germany held on to win the match.[87]

After the game, Uruguay coach Óscar Tabárez insisted that his side did not deserve to be on the losing side: "We achieved an equal game against a real power, we could have won because in the game [they] were not superior to us... We're not that far away [from Germany's level], the route has been marked, we must learn from this."[88]

Uruguay 2–3 Germany
Report
Uruguay[74]
Germany[74]
GK1Fernando Muslera
RB4Jorge Fucile
CB2Diego Lugano (c)
CB3Diego Godín
LB22Martín Cáceres
CM15Diego Pérez 61' 77'
CM17Egidio Arévalo Ríos
RW16Maxi Pereira
LW7Edinson Cavani 88'
CF9Luis Suárez
CF10Diego Forlán
Substitutions:
MF5Walter Gargano 77'
FW13Sebastián Abreu 88'
Manager:
Óscar Tabárez
GK22Hans-Jörg Butt
RB20Jérôme Boateng
CB3Arne Friedrich 90+2'
CB17Per Mertesacker
LB4Dennis Aogo 5'
DM6Sami Khedira
DM7Bastian Schweinsteiger (c)
RW13Thomas Müller
AM8Mesut Özil 90+1'
LW2Marcell Jansen 81'
CF19Cacau 7' 73'
Substitutions:
FW9Stefan Kießling 73'
MF18Toni Kroos 81'
DF5Serdar Tasci 90+1'
Manager:
Joachim Löw

Man of the Match:
Thomas Müller (Germany)

Assistant referees:
Héctor Vergara (Canada)
Marvin Cesar Torrentera Rivera (Mexico)
Fourth official:
Marco Rodríguez (Mexico)
Fifth official:
José Luis Camargo (Mexico)

Final

Netherlands 0–1 (a.e.t.) Spain
Report Iniesta  116'
Attendance: 84,490
Netherlands[90]
Spain[90]
GK1Maarten Stekelenburg
RB2Gregory van der Wiel 111'
CB3John Heitinga 57'  109'
CB4Joris Mathijsen 117'
LB5Giovanni van Bronckhorst (c) 54' 105'
DM6Mark van Bommel 22'
DM8Nigel de Jong 28' 99'
RW11Arjen Robben 84'
AM10Wesley Sneijder
LW7Dirk Kuyt 71'
CF9Robin van Persie 15'
Substitutions:
MF17Eljero Elia 71'
MF23Rafael van der Vaart 99'
DF15Edson Braafheid 105'
Manager:
Bert van Marwijk
GK1Iker Casillas (c)
RB15Sergio Ramos 23'
CB3Gerard Piqué
CB5Carles Puyol 16'
LB11Joan Capdevila 67'
DM16Sergio Busquets
DM14Xabi Alonso 87'
RW6Andrés Iniesta 118'
AM8Xavi 120+1'
LW18Pedro 60'
CF7David Villa 106'
Substitutions:
MF22Jesús Navas 60'
MF10Cesc Fàbregas 87'
FW9Fernando Torres 106'
Manager:
Vicente del Bosque

Man of the Match:
Andrés Iniesta (Spain)

Assistant referees:
Darren Cann (England)[89]
Mike Mullarkey (England)[89]
Fourth official:
Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)[89]
Fifth official:
Toru Sagara (Japan)[89]

Match rules:

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Twelve named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.

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