Paul The Octopus Is Right Again: Go Spain! : Show Me Your Cleats! - World Cup 2010 Blog Spain beat Germany to move on to the World Cup finals against the Dutch. And, once again, Paul the Prognosticating Octopus gets it right.
NPR logo Paul The Octopus Is Right Again: Go Spain!

Paul The Octopus Is Right Again: Go Spain!

Spain's Carles Puyol (center, with long hair) scores the game's only goal. AP hide caption

toggle caption

Paul the German octopus predicted it and he hasn't been wrong this tournament -- Spain beat Germany, 1-0. Seasoned sabor trumps youth and efficiency in Durban, South Africa, and Paul the Octopus is six-for-six.

In the first half, Spain looked poised, patiently passing and waiting for an opportunity to score. David Villa took a shot off a pass from Pedro at 6 minutes into the first half, but it was at 13 minutes that Spain missed an obvious opportunity to score early.  Spanish defender Puyol (shorter guy on the pitch with the long curly hair) took a header that went way over the goal.

Spain had possession of the ball on Germany's half of the pitch for the majority of the match, but there were times when Germans counter-attacked with such speed and aggression, they seemed unstoppable. Germany had a great scoring opportunity by German midfielder, Piotr Trochowski at 30 minutes. Into extra time in the first half Özil had a breakaway all the way to the Spanish goal that looked like it was stopped by a Spanish foul, but there was no call from the Hungarian ref.

Spain maintained its possession going into the second half and at minutes 57 and 58, there were so many red shirts crowded around the German goal it looked like a Spanish goal was bound to make it in the net. The German defenders looked bewildered and overrun by their Spanish counterparts.  Germany's Klose took a long shot at 60 minutes in and then Spain's Ramos countered with one, two minutes later.

But at 72 minutes in, Spain's Puyol sought redemption for the botched header in the first half of the game and took a header off a corner kick that made it through to the back of the net. Spain 1, Germany 0.

And Spain looked like it was going to make a second goal at 81 minutes in when Pedro took possession of the ball on a breakaway, but failed to find Fernando Torres who was open and ready to take a shot.

That play lit a fire under the entire German team and they looked ready to battle until the very end. They were playing with more spirit and fight than they were during the rest of the game and took it to the goal a few times, but couldn't get by the Spanish defense.

The 32-year-old defender, Puyol, was Spain's talisman. He was all over the pitch, ready to score and ready to defend. Maybe Paul the Octopus had visions of Puyol's bouncing curls, mistaking them for cephalopod appendages and that's why he made his prophetic choice.