World Cup Third Place Playoff Preview: Germany vs Uruguay
Posted Thursday July 8, 2010 – 5.24pm
PORT ELIZABETH (AFP) – Two-time winners Uruguay and three-time champions Germany clash here on Saturday in a match that neither side wanted to be contesting – the playoff to decide third place.
ABC will present live coverage of the game this Saturday from 11am PDT.
Both coaches, Oscar Tabarez of Uruguay and Germany’s Joachim Loew will have a job on their hands to rouse their players for one last effort after losing their semi-finals to the Netherlands and Spain respectively.
The Uruguayans have an advantage in that they will have had an extra day to absorb their disappointment and 63-year-old Tabarez is known to be a shrewd motivator of men.
He has already been firm in his resolve following the 3-2 defeat by the Dutch that they would put aside the loss and aim to finish third going one better than their performance in 1970.
“To use a term that is common in the team — we have to bury this match and get over our sorrow,” said Tabarez, in his second spell in charge having guided Uruguay to the last 16 in 1990.
“We must give a good image like the one we delivered against the Netherlands on the pitch to show people in football that Uruguay wants to play at an equal level with others.
“We want to show that this is a team with pride, despite our limitations, and this third-place play-off match is important for this reason.”
He will definitely have Ajax hitman Luis Suarez back after he served his one match suspension for being sent off for punching the ball off the line in the quarter-final against Ghana.
That will counter-balance the possibility of inspirational strike partner Diego Forlan missing the match through injury.
The 31-year-old Atletico Madrid star – scorer of four goals in the finals – carried the unspecified injury throughout the loss to the Dutch but Tabarez is confident he can play some sort of role in the match.
Unlike the South Americans Germany will feel third or fourth place is a poor consolation for the chance of a fourth title.
The out-of-contract Loew, though, will want his side to bow out of this tournament on a high not least because it could be his last match in charge of a team that he has effectively shaped.
“The players are devastated but I would still like to congratulate them on the way they played throughout the tournament,” said Loew following the Spanish reverse.
“We have to try and wake them up tomorrow (Thursday) because we still have another match – the third place play-off against Uruguay – to play.”
For one German player too there remains the possibility of leaving his permanent mark on the World Cup.
Miroslav Klose, who is unlikely to be part of the next squad in 2014 when he will be 36, needs two goals against Uruguay to pass Brazil’s Ronaldo as the all-time World Cup leading goalscorer. He has already bagged 14 in three World Cups.
KEY TO THE MATCH
Effectively the day after the night before with the champagne flat the winner will be the side that can best motivate themselves to one last effort and claim the bragging rights to being the third best team in the world – for four years,