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Only one can move on, World Cup 2010 Semi final Germany vs Spain

Well the Netherlands did their part and secured one spot in the World Cup final, and now Germany and Spain will battle for their right to face them.  For Germany it was Serbia, for Spain it was Switzerland, each of the semifinalist suffered a loss to an unlikely foe in their group stage. Spain rebounded by getting some close wins and advancing to the round of 16, from there it was a pair of close 1-0 wins over Portugal and Paraguay.  Germany rebounded by by getting the win they needed against Ghana to advance to the round of 16, from there the Germans kicked it into another gear, a 4-1 win over England and then a 4-0 win over Argentina.  

Germany vs. Spain - 12:30pm MT - ESPN

Now the two teams will face off and for one of them a chance to lift the most valued trophy in the sport will be the reward for winning on the day, the other can only dream of what might have been.

SB Nation Exclusive Content:

Germany Team Site and Team Guide

Spain Team Site and Team Guide

Match Links:

Official FIFA Match Preview:

"Spain are the favourites to my mind and their team play is just amazing. They don't have one Messi, they have several, and they don't make many mistakes either, unlike England and Argentina. We need to force them to make errors," Joachim Low, Germany coach.

"We haven't come this far to finish fourth. We are going to fight hard against Germany to reach the Final, which is our one and only objective. We've reached a landmark for Spanish football by getting past the quarter-finals, but we know the Germany match is the most important in our history, even more so than the EURO 2008 final in Austria," Iker Casillas, Spain goalkeeper and captain.

ESPN Match Preview:

Three-time champion Germany will be going up against a Spanish side with a long history of World Cup underachievement in the tournament's second semifinal in Durban on Wednesday. Spain entered the competition as co-favorite but has looked short of its best. Germany, meanwhile, has been dynamic from the very beginning, playing arguably the best soccer of the tournament in hammering both England and Argentina. Given the quality on display, it's a match fit for a final.

Fox Sports Preview:

The reigning European champion vs. the runner-up. The leading scorer at this World Cup vs. No. 2 on the all-time list. The most dynamic team at this tournament vs. a squad that's yet to show its full brilliance. A three-time champion vs. a team craving its first title.

Sounds like a great World Cup final.

Too bad it'll be the semifinals when Germany and Spain face off Wednesday night at Moses Mabhida Stadium, with many expecting the winner to go on and be crowned world champion four days later.

"Two of the best teams in the World Cup have to play in the semifinal," Spain striker Fernando Torres said, "so unlucky for one of them."

Fox is wrong, it sounds like a great semifinal match and it should be a great match, these two teams faced off two years ago for the Championship of Europe and on that day Spain was the better team.  If you look at the last two matches of each of these teams, you would believe that Germany should be able to claim their spot in the final without as much as breaking a sweat, but looks are deceiving.

Spain was one of the favorites heading into the tournament, while many wrote Germany off, I mean they were without Michael Ballack, their leader on the pitch and in the locker room.  In steps Miroslav Klose, who with a goal will be tied for the most goals scored in the World Cup and it will get him close to catching Spain's David Villa who has 5 goals and is tied with Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands for the Golden boot.

This will be a very interesting match up but unless Spain shows something more than they have in their last couple matches if they want to get by the Germans, the Germans will have to focus on the issues at hand and not count on the win before the whistle blows.  If there is one thing the Germans know how to do is to focus, and they will and in the end they will get the win.  This one might go to extra time, but I wouldn't count on it.

OFF MY SOAPBOX