Very few people will argue with FIFA awarding Diego Forlan the Golden Ball award for best player at the 2010 World Cup Finals. He was instrumental in Uruguay’s run to the semi finals, and with 5 goals he finished joint top scorer. He is only the third winner not to have appeared in the final joining Brazil’s Leônidas da Silva (right) from 1938 and Italy’s Salvatore (Toto) Schillaci from 1990 in this select group.
The other awards were:
Golden Boot – Thomas Muller Germany
Golden Glove – Iker Casillas Spain
Germany made 5 changes for this match compared to the team which played the semi final, but were still too good for a plucky Uruguay.
This was one of the more entertaining games in the tournament and with little to play for both sides opened up and treated the fans to some nice end to end football.
Germany opened the scoring on 18 minutes when the Uruguay keeper Muslera, who was not to have a great game spilled a long range shot, and Muller was the first to react stabbing the ball home. However this lead only lasted 10 minutes thanks to some nice Uruguay football starting with a great tackle on Schweinsteiger and ending with Cavani calmly slotting the ball into the net thanks to a lovely Forlan pass. Uruguay were now firmly back in the match and going into half time it looked like they could fancy their chances.
The second half which was played in heavy rain continued in the same vein and it was no surprise when possibly the player of the tournament Diego Forlan put the South Americans 2-1 up with a well taken volley. This put him level in the Golden Boot competition and with assists possibly counting in the event of a tie he could be in with a chance.
Victory would have been sweet for Uruguay who because of their early success are often thought of as a bigger team than they really are, but alas for them it was not to be and two bits of bad defending cost them dear as Germany took the third place medal for a second consecutive World Cup.
Germany’s final two goals came from Jansen in the 56th minute, when he headed in following a hopeless flap at the ball by Muslera and Khedira who pounced on some defensive hesitancy in the 82nd minute.
As per usual Uruguay refused to give up and with the last kick of the game Diego Forlan hit the crossbar from a free kick.
It has been a great World Cup Finals for both teams and Uruguay Manager Oscar Tabarez’s and his team can look forward to a heros welcome when they return to Montevideo while the German Coach Joachim Loew who was much maligned pre-tournament will probably be able to write his own salary cheque when renegotiating his contract
World Cup 3rd Place Playoff Final Score
Germany 3-2 Uruguay
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
This is not a game any country wants to play in, knowing they were so close but fell at the final hurdle. Still being the third best team in the world is no mean achievement and these games have often been more entertaining than the final.
This time round its the perenial appearers Germany against the pre tournament write offs Uruguay in what will be a replay of the 1970 3rd -4th play off match which Germany won 1-0.
Uruguay who have not had much success against European teams over the years must be thrilled to have made it this far and for a country of only 3.5m people its no mean achievement these days. They showed a lot of pluck against Holland and a never say die attitude which was refreshing after so many cautious matches in this years finals. In Forlan they have a player who can score from nothing and Suarez will be back from suspension, which will be a big help for them up front and possibly in their own penalty box should the “new hand of God” be called upon.
Germany seem a lot less botherd about this game with Lahm and Neuer both being dropped and seem to be treating this as a chance to give a few players a teste of the tournament. Its nice they are giving some of their second string a run out, and the experience will be of great benefit to them as Germany prepare for their assault on the 2012 European Championships, for which they will be close to favourites.
Overall this will be a close game and despite Uruguay never having beaten a European side in the World Cup Finals since 1970 I just have a feeling they will end their drought here and take them to win by the odd goal.