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Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Sunday, 4 July 2010 10:22 UK

World Cup 2010: Joachim Loew hails 'incredible' Germany

Friedrich celebrates Germany's fourth goal

Highlights - Argentina 0-4 Germany

Germany coach Joachim Loew hailed his side's "incredible" performance after seeing them defeat Argentina 4-0 to progress to the World Cup semi-finals.

Loew's side stunned the pre-tournament favourites with goals from midfielder Thomas Mueller, defender Arne Friedrich and two by striker Miroslav Klose.

"We really turned in an incredible showing," said Loew, whose side will now face European champions Spain.

"Scoring four goals against Argentina you have to say that that was class."

Germany took the lead in only the third minute and managed to keep the much-vaunted attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain quiet throughout the game.

606: DEBATE

And it was Germany's ability to limit the threat of World and European player of the year Messi that particularly pleased Loew.

"We closed down Messi very well - without resorting to fouls, so that was great," said Loew.

Germany led 1-0 at half-time but sealed victory with three second-half goals, as Argentina's back line was torn apart.

"We really stepped on the gas in the second half and played a liberated style of attacking football," added Loew.

"I have been proud of my team for a long time, not only today. We played some really great football in the second-half and the team has shown the will of champions.

"This result and the amount of goals we scored was almost unimaginable before the game."

The game marked Miroslav Klose's 100th international appearance and his two-goal tally took him to within a goal of Ronaldo's World Cup record haul of 15 goals.

Klose, 32, scored only three goals for Bayern Munich last season, but was devastating in the box on Saturday and equalled Germany's record-goalscorer Gerd Mueller's 14-goal World Cup haul.

WORLD CUP ALL-TIME LEADING SCORERS
15 goals - Ronaldo (Bra)
14 goals - Gerd Mueller (Ger), Miroslav Klose (Ger)
13 goals - Just Fontaine (Fra)
12 goals - Pele (Bra)
11 goals - Jurgen Klinsmann (Ger), Sandor Kocsis (Hun)

"I do have 14 goals now like Gerd Mueller but Mueller played at only two World Cups and this is already my third," said Klose. "That's why the comparison is unfair.

"I am just pleased that we are in the semi-finals, that was our target. I am sure that I will reach 102 caps at this tournament. If we don't make the finals, we'll play at least for third place."

The striker has scored 52 goals in 100 internationals and coach Loew described Klose's achievements as "historic".

"Someone who has a rate of scoring, more than every two games, that speaks for the player," said Loew.

"He has excellent qualities. I never had any doubts in him. He is always up to the task. There are not many players with such a ratio of goals and games, one or two, and that's historic."

The only blot on Germany's copybook was Mueller's first-half yellow card which meant he will be suspended for the semi-final.

"Everything went off superbly and to send Argentina packing 4-0, well, what can you say?" said Mueller.

"But we did it as a team and I can't pick out any individuals. We all pulled together for this and it's just great.

"It's insane to beat Argentina 4-0. It's hard to find the words for a result like that."

Man-of-the-match Bastian Schweinsteiger added: "That gives you goose bumps seeing the way people are celebrating at home.

"We may have to play Spain next - they're the best team in the world, in my view. But we're good enough, we believe in ourselves."



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see also
World Cup quarter-final photos
03 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Sad Maradona considering future
04 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Argentina are bad losers - Lahm
01 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Germany fret over Schweinsteiger
24 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Maradona cools Argentine euphoria
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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