skip to content
The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
Mesut Ozil delivers the ball, Garcia Sergio Ramos manages to make a clearance.
Carlos Marchena comes on in place of Xabi Alonso.
Short corner taken by Hernandez Xavi from the left by-line.
Andres Iniesta decides to take a short corner.
Centre by Andres Iniesta, Per Mertesacker makes a clearance.
The ball is sent over by Philip Lahm, clearance made by Carles Puyol.
David Silva replaces Rodriguez Pedro.
Bastian Schweinsteiger takes a shot. Carles Puyol gets a block in.
Xabi Alonso concedes a free kick for a foul on Mesut Ozil. Mesut Ozil delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, clearance by Carles Puyol.
A cross is delivered by Mesut Ozil.
Marcell Jansen produces a cross.
(Spain) makes a substitution, with Fernando Torres coming on for David Villa.
Sami Khedira goes off and Mario Gomez comes on.
The ball is sent over by Toni Kroos, clearance by Gerard Pique.
The ball is crossed by Philip Lahm, clearance by Gerard Pique.
Centre by Toni Kroos, Gerard Pique manages to make a clearance.
Corner taken right-footed by Toni Kroos from the left by-line, clearance by Gerard Pique.
A cross is delivered by Lukas Podolski, blocked by Garcia Sergio Ramos.
Sami Khedira fouled by Xabi Alonso, the ref awards a free kick. Toni Kroos delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, save made by Iker Casillas.
Corner taken by Hernandez Xavi, Carles Puyol finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the box. Germany 0-1 Spain.Hernandez Xavi provided the assist for the goal.
Andres Iniesta delivers the ball, Bastian Schweinsteiger gets a block in.
Philip Lahm challenges Andres Iniesta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Xabi Alonso restarts play with the free kick.
Corner taken by Mesut Ozil, clearance made by Joan Capdevila.
The ball is crossed by Toni Kroos, Gerard Pique manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Lukas Podolski by Garcia Sergio Ramos. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Toni Kroos, Gerard Pique makes a clearance.
Toni Kroos takes a shot. Save by Iker Casillas.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Miroslav Klose on Andres Iniesta. Hernandez Xavi takes the free kick.
David Villa takes a shot. Manuel Neuer makes a save.
Joan Capdevila produces a cross, Per Mertesacker manages to make a clearance.
Miroslav Klose gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sergio Busquets. Free kick taken by Xabi Alonso.
The ball is sent over by Andres Iniesta.
Bastian Schweinsteiger concedes a free kick for a foul on Xabi Alonso. Free kick crossed right-footed by Xabi Alonso, Per Mertesacker manages to make a clearance.
The ball is sent over by Xabi Alonso.
Toni Kroos comes on in place of Piotr Trochowski.
Centre by Marcell Jansen, clearance by Gerard Pique. Effort from deep inside the area by Miroslav Klose clears the bar.
Marcell Jansen delivers the ball, clearance by Gerard Pique.
Effort from outside the box by Rodriguez Pedro goes wide right of the target.
The ball is delivered by Andres Iniesta.
Rodriguez Pedro takes a shot. Manuel Neuer makes a save.
Marcell Jansen produces a cross, clearance made by Gerard Pique.
Unfair challenge on Joan Capdevila by Piotr Trochowski results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Xabi Alonso.
David Villa produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.
Foul by Bastian Schweinsteiger on Andres Iniesta, free kick awarded. Hernandez Xavi restarts play with the free kick.
Jerome Boateng leaves the field to be replaced by Marcell Jansen.
Xabi Alonso has an effort at goal from outside the penalty area which goes wide right of the goal.
Shot from outside the area by Xabi Alonso misses to the left of the goal.
Piotr Trochowski takes a shot. Blocked by Gerard Pique.
The ball is swung over by Rodriguez Pedro.
The referee gets the second half started.
The match has reached half-time.
Rodriguez Pedro takes a shot. Save by Manuel Neuer.
Joan Capdevila produces a cross, clearance made by Per Mertesacker.
Corner taken by Hernandez Xavi.
The ball is swung over by Rodriguez Pedro, Jerome Boateng gets a block in.
Joan Capdevila gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Bastian Schweinsteiger. Direct free kick taken by Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The ball is delivered by Garcia Sergio Ramos, clearance by Per Mertesacker.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Andres Iniesta by Jerome Boateng. Free kick taken by Hernandez Xavi.
Joan Capdevila produces a cross, Jerome Boateng manages to make a clearance.
Joan Capdevila delivers the ball, Per Mertesacker manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Miroslav Klose on Gerard Pique. Gerard Pique takes the direct free kick.
Unfair challenge on David Villa by Jerome Boateng results in a free kick. Hernandez Xavi restarts play with the free kick.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Lukas Podolski. Garcia Sergio Ramos restarts play with the free kick.
Inswinging corner taken by Piotr Trochowski from the left by-line, save made by Iker Casillas.
Mesut Ozil crosses the ball, Carles Puyol gets a block in.
Corner taken by Mesut Ozil played to the near post.
Piotr Trochowski produces a drilled left-footed shot from 25 yards. Save made by Iker Casillas.
Garcia Sergio Ramos gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lukas Podolski. Per Mertesacker takes the free kick.
Garcia Sergio Ramos crosses the ball, Effort on goal by Rodriguez Pedro from 18 yards. Comfortable save by Manuel Neuer.
Joan Capdevila is ruled offside. Direct free kick taken by Manuel Neuer.
Andres Iniesta decides to take a short corner. Xabi Alonso sends in a cross, Arne Friedrich manages to make a clearance.
Shot from just outside the area by Garcia Sergio Ramos goes over the bar.
Centre by Piotr Trochowski.
Inswinging corner taken by Piotr Trochowski, Iker Casillas makes a save.
Inswinging corner taken by Mesut Ozil from the right by-line, Iker Casillas makes a save.
The ball is swung over by Piotr Trochowski, clearance by Gerard Pique.
Andres Iniesta sends in a cross, Close range header by Carles Puyol goes over the crossbar.
Corner taken short by Hernandez Xavi.
The ball is delivered by Garcia Sergio Ramos, blocked by Lukas Podolski.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Mesut Ozil. Gerard Pique takes the free kick.
David Villa takes a shot. Save by Manuel Neuer.
The ball is crossed by Joan Capdevila.
The referee gets the game underway.
Schweinsteiger: Spain are favourites
Bastian Schweinsteiger insists Spain are the favourites for the World Cup semi-final encounter in Durban, despite Germany being the most impressive team in South Africa so far.
The two European heavyweights have had contrasting runs to the last four.
Apart from a group stage blip against Serbia, Joachim Low's team have steamrollered almost every team that has crossed their path, including England and Argentina in the knockout stages.
The Spaniards, one of the pre-tournament favourites, have been far more subdued, battling their way through almost every round.
But Schweinsteiger insists the side that beat them in the Euro 2008 final two years ago are still "the better team on paper".
"Losing a final always causes frustration and disappointment but Spain were definitely the better team," the Bayern Munich midfielder said.
"On paper Spain are still the better team but I think we have shown in our last two games that we can beat teams that appear the better ones on paper.
"For me, Spain are the best team in the world. It will be tough just like it was against England and Argentina but I've a lot of faith in this team because we've seen what we can do if we all pull together."
The Germans, who came into the competition without being given much chance of winning, have silenced many of the doubters with their attacking brand of play, a change from previous years where they were known for their defensive prowess.
They are the leading scorers at the finals with 13 goals and new faces like Thomas Muller, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil have all been revelations.
Schweinsteiger continued: "Now we have fresh faces and different characters - an unencumbered state of mind.
"The younger players who have come in have gained experienced during this tournament.
"Spain haven't changed that much. Sergio Busquets has replaced Marcos Senna but otherwise they are pretty much the same team as two years ago."
Despite admitting full respect for the European champions, he acknowledged that they were not at their best in South Africa.
"Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta but also Xabi Alonso and (Gerard) Pique are great players but we still have a chance against them," he said.
"They are the decisive players for Spain because without them (David) Villa and (Fernando) Torres won't get the service needed to score goals.
"But Spain haven't really dazzled in the way that their fans might have hoped but they have still been winning. If we can play as a team, just as we have done so far, then we stand a very good chance."
Cesc Fabregas has raised hopes he will be fit for the game by training with his team-mates.
The Arsenal midfielder had a scan on his right leg yesterday after taking a knock in training but there was no serious damage.
He did have a support strip on the back of his leg in training in Durban tonight but took part in a full session with no apparent adverse effects.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is thought likely to give Fabregas his first start of the tournament in place of Fernando Torres, although David Silva and Fernando Llorente are other options.
The Spanish Football Federation said in a statement: "The tests have ruled out any type of bone injury so the player could be available to play against Germany. He has not been ruled out for the game tomorrow."
There has been speculation that the 23-year-old would start the game since Spain improved dramatically in the quarter-final against Paraguay when he replaced Fernando Torres.
Spain managed 15 shots against Paraguay with 11 of these, and the four on-target efforts, coming in the 34 minutes after Fabregas was on the pitch.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque said fears over Fabregas had now been dispelled.
Del Bosque said: "He has trained well. We were quite worried because he took a hit in the same place as his injury but he is available to play."
Puyol sets up Holland showdown
Carles Puyol powered Spain into their first World Cup final with a thunderous second-half header as Germany were beaten 1-0 in Durban.
The Euro 2008 winners dominated possession but initially struggled to create clear openings against Joachim Low's impressive young side.
But after failing to break through with their subtle approach, Spain eventually brought out the sledgehammer.
Iker Casillas deserves plenty of credit for his fine save to deny Toni Kroos moments before the goal.
But when midfield schemer Xavi curled a corner deep into the German box, 32-year-old Puyol showed the German young guns what experience can bring as he rose highest and then powered an unstoppable header beyond Manuel Neuer.
For Germany it was a game too far. But with their impressive victories against England and Argentina, they have signalled a new dawn for their national team.
Spain's prowess has been known for some time. That is why they had the strength to leave out a strangely shot-shy Fernando Torres.
And against Holland at Soccer City on Sunday, they will attempt to confirm their class, as FIFA waits to crown a new champion, no matter what the outcome.
It was one of those games that is usually described as being for the purist. An alternative assessment would be boring.
There was nevertheless a bewitching tactical battle that Spain started in the ascendancy and Germany slowly hauled their way back into.
The format was fairly predictable. Spain dominating possession, Xavi and Andres Iniesta attempting to pierce their opponents defence with intelligent and incisive close passing, while Germany looked to hit back with greater power on the counter-attack.
Aiming to become the first team since West Germany in 1972 and 1974 to follow up a European Championship triumph by lifting the World Cup as well, Spain's problem was the ferocious discipline of their opponents' defence.
On their charge to the last four, Mesut Ozil, suspended wide-man Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose have captured most of the headlines.
But Germany could not function without Arne Friedrich and Per Mertesacker doing the business at the back.
Having axed Torres, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque was putting more responsibility than ever on the shoulders of David Villa.
Yet the Barcelona-bound forward had just one sight of the German goal, when Torres' replacement Pedro threaded a pass through for him to run onto. Neuer was out just as quickly to make a brave block.
Germany hardly touched the ball for 25 minutes and as it turned out, would have probably benefited from a more English-style route one approach.
But when Spain finally paused for breath, Piotr Trochowski, the man entrusted to fill Muller's right-sided berth, forced Iker Casillas into a scrambling low save and thereafter the Spain skipper was the busier goalkeeper until the break.
The interval just triggered a repeat of the opening to the first half, as Spain totally dominated their bewildered opponents without making it count.
Their best opportunity came when Pedro let fly with a speculative effort that was too strong for Neuer to hold.
Andres Iniesta was onto the rebound in a flash, drilling the ball across goal from the left to where Villa, sliding in at the far post, just failed to make contact.
As they had done before, Germany began to make their presence felt midway through the half when Lukas Podolski chipped a cross to the far post which substitute Kroos met perfectly.
In such moments are big matches won and lost. On this occasion Casillas thundered across his goal and made an impressive and important save. Minutes later, Spain had their lead.
That it should come in such a direct manner after the neatness that had gone before just highlights the paradox of the game.
Puyol's skill was to evade the arm grabs that are now commonplace at all corners by beginning his run from deep.
It had the added advantage of giving him the power to ensure once he had got his head to Xavi's corner, Neuer had no chance of keeping the ball out.
Germany did their best to press for an equaliser but in the end, they lacked enough nous.
Indeed, had it not been for the greed of Pedro, who could have presented substitute Torres with a late tap-in, the margin of victory could have been greater.
"Opening Day Fixtures"