Munich, Germany — The game plan was to apply pressure from the start and score an early goal. Mission accomplished.
Germany is in the quarterfinals of the World Cup and beginning to look and talk like a contender after a 2-0 victory over Sweden. Juergen Klinsmann's team needed only 12 minutes to break down the Swedes for a confidence-boosting win over one of the traditionally top European sides.
"I can't remember the last time Germany played such a first 30 minutes. It was fantastic," Klinsmann said. "It couldn't have been better."
Lukas Podolski scored both goals, in the fourth and 12th minutes, with his forward partner Miroslav Klose playing a big role. Podolski now has three goals in the tournament and the two have combined for seven.
Germany, 4-0 in the tournament, next plays Friday in Berlin against Argentina, which beat Mexico, 2-1, in extra time. The two teams met in the 1986 and 1990 finals with each team winning once.
Argentina 2, Mexico 1
Leipzig, Germany - It took a blast of brilliance by Maxi Rodriguez to separate Argentina from Mexico.
Argentina moved into the quarterfinals on Rodriguez's goal in the 98th minute of the first extra-time game in the tournament. Rodriguez chested a long, arcing pass from captain Juan Sorin at the right corner of the penalty area and, in almost the same motion, wheeled and volleyed a soaring left-footed shot to the far portion of the net over flailing goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez.
The Argentines weren't too exhausted to celebrate, mobbing Rodriguez after his third goal of the tournament - and biggest of his life. Still, Argentina had to stave off Mexico for another 22 minutes - there is no sudden death in this World Cup.