T.N. Raghu

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New stars on horizon

This World Cup has been a great leveller. The most watched sporting event on the earth has brought stars down from the stratosphere and elevated unknown players to a pedestal.

Argentina: From sublime attack to ridiculous defence

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Europe is back. A majestic Germany hammered Diego Maradona’s Argentina 4-0 here on Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the World Cup.
Inspired by a cracking team performance, Germany tore Argentina’s chaotic defence into pieces. Miroslav Klose took his all-time World Cup tally to 14 after scoring a brace.

The gods must be crazy

This time is not for Africa. The World Cup party is over for the continent after incredible drama at Soccer City on Friday night. The little white spot, 12 yards away from the goal-line, proved to be the graveyard for the aspirations of Ghana and Africa.

Shock & Awe

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History repeated itself as Germany dumped Argentina at the quarterfinal stage of the World Cup for the second edition in succession, here on Saturday.
Cheered on by their ever-smiling chancellor Angela Merkel, Joachim Loew’s young team demolished a clueless Argentina by a massive 4-0 margin.

Old foes lock horns in Saturday slugfest

Old wounds have been reopened and angry words exchanged. The mind games are at full throttle before the biggest draw of the quarterfinals at Cape Town on Saturday. The cracking tie between Argentina and Germany has received all the attention and hype it richly deserves and the watching world can’t wait for the real action to begin.

Uruguay, Ghana in clash of continents

Ghana need more than the pride of playing for an entire continent and the pumping of adrenalin when they face Uruguay at Soccer City in the quarterfinals on Friday. The thought of becoming the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup should be their biggest motivation.

Argentine carries flag for referees

These are tough times for referees. The World Cup has seen them stumble from one blunder to another and the heat on them is unmistakable. The best referees remain invisible during matches but anonymity has eluded the men in black here.

If there is Villa, there is a way

David Villa is the man for Spain. The new Barcelona signing is in the form of his life. He cannot stop scoring. Villa’s match-winner against Portugal on Tuesday took his tally to four at the World Cup. He is now the joint top-scorer with Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina and Slovakian Robert Vittek.

Club culture blamed for English, Italian flops

The early exits by England and Italy from the World Cup have raised calls for changes in the make-up of club teams in the EPL and Serie A. English and Italian clubs are accused of relying on foreign players, ahead of home-grown talent, in their single-minded pursuit of success.

Fifa sorry, changes stance on referrals

Fifa, the world football governing body, has decided to “discuss goal-line technology” in a meeting of the International Football Association Rules Board next month. The controversial events at the on-going World Cup have compelled football’s bosses to soften their protracted resistance to technological aids.

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