Published June 28, 2010
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A goal that probably shouldn't have counted and one that definitely should have but was ignored played key roles in Argentina and Germany advancing to the World Cup quarterfinals.
Not that the two soccer powers wouldn't have moved on, anyway. But what happened Sunday sure didn't hurt them.
Germany got by England 4-1 in a match affected by a bad officiating decision. Frank Lampard's long-range shot rebounded off the crossbar and clearly crossed the goal line. Referee Jorge Larrionda waved play on rather than signal the match was tied 2-2.
"It's incredible," England coach Fabio Capello said. "We played with five referees and they can't decide if it's a goal or no goal. The game was ... different after this goal. It was the mistake of the linesman and I think the referee because from the bench I saw the ball go over the (line)."
Even Germany coach Joachim Loew conceded it was a fair goal.
"What I saw on the television, this ball was behind the line," Loew said. "It must have been given as goal."
Carlos Tevez scored twice, one goal when he was about a yard offside, in Argentina's 3-1 victory over Mexico in Johannesburg.
Tevez opened the scoring in the 26th minute, heading into an empty net after Lionel Messi chipped the ball toward goal. Mexico players protested furiously as the referee and linesman had a lengthy discussion before allowing the goal to stand.
Mexico's anger spilled over into a scuffle behind the bench as the teams walked off at halftime, with Argentina coach Diego Maradona in the middle of the scrum.
"It was a difficult blow for us and we never recovered," Mexico's Rafael Marquez said. "Unfortunately we were unlucky."
While Germany and Argentina were both fortunate, they also were quite good, particularly on offense. They will face off Saturday in Cape Town, a rematch of the 1986 and '90 finals.
"We know Germany is a different team than the Mexico team we faced today," coach Diego Maradona said. "It's more powerful, but we'll have the right players on the pitch to face them."
As England searched for a goal in the second half at Bloemfontein, the Germans put on a display of counterattacking soccer and Thomas Mueller scored twice.
"We clearly controlled the game until England's goal, then there was a short critical phase," said Loew, who outlined how his German squad attacked the English. "We managed to expose the England defense. We wanted to get into the penalty area quickly and we did it a couple of times extraordinarily."
Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski gave Germany a 2-0 lead before Matthew Upson pulled a goal back for England in the 37th minute. Then came Lampard's non-goal.
"At 2-1, if Frank's ball had stayed I think it would have been a nice turning point in the game," England captain Steven Gerrard said.
The defeat immediately raised questions about the future of Capello, whose contract runs to the end of the 2012 European Championship. The Italian said he would soon sit down with Football Association officials to discuss his tenure.
It was the second World Cup running that Argentina beat Mexico in the round of 16.
After Tevez's contentious opener, Gonzalo Higuain made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute when he capitalized on a blunder by Mexico defender Ricardo Osorio.
Osario played the ball directly into Higuain's path and he scored his fourth goal of the tournament, tops among all players.
Tevez scored his second and Argentina's third in the 52nd with a rocket from 25 yards into the top right corner of the net.
Mexico's Javier Hernandez scored in the 71st.
"Argentina was better throughout the 90 minutes and the truth is we were never in trouble," Maradona said. "We're not here on vacation, we came here to leave everything so that the Argentines can be proud of us."
All five South American teams are alive, with Argentina and Uruguay already in the quarterfinals.
The clear refereeing mistakes will again raise questions about FIFA's refusal to allow video replays.