Argentina side taking leaf from German book

Argentina are studying Germany's penalty techniques ahead of their World Cup quarter-final on Saturday, Sergio Romero, their goalkeeper, said.

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PRETORIA // Argentina are studying Germany's penalty techniques ahead of their World Cup quarter-final on Saturday, Sergio Romero, their goalkeeper, said. Diego Maradona's side are hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2006 quarter-finals, when Germany beat Argentina 4-2 in a shoot-out. Jens Lehmann stopped spot kicks from Roberto Ayala and Esteban Cambiasso that day after consulting a sheet of the Argentine penalty takers and the direction they usually took their shots.

Romero said yesterday that it was a "smart move" by the Germans, and Argentina have copied the tactic by studying videos of their opponents. "This time we have to be well prepared for everything," Romero said. "In that moment it was a very smart move on their part, saving a piece of paper to know who was going to take the kick." Germany's traditional strengths have been supplemented by an injection of youth since the meeting four years ago. "Germany has tall and powerful players who go up for all the corners and free-kicks," said Romero, adding that Lukas Podolski, the German forward, "has a great shot" while Mesut Ozil "chases down every ball and never gives anything up".

One of the survivors from the 2006 Germany squad is Miroslav Klose, the striker. He scored the opening goal in Germany's 4-1 win in the last-16 match against England to draw level with Pele on 12 World Cup goals in total. "He's very dangerous and he can score a goal against you at any moment," Romero said of the Bayern Munich man. Argentina and Germany have faced each other in two World Cup finals. In 1986, the South American side won 3-2, while four years later the European side had their revenge with a 1-0 win to lift the trophy.

* AP