Penalty analysis pays off for Germany
BERLIN, July 1 (Reuters) - Germany's painstaking preparation for their World Cup quarter-final against Argentina gave goalkeeper Jens Lehmann a crucial advantage in the penalty shootout.
Few people at the Olympiastadion on Friday noticed, but before each of the Argentina penalties Lehmann was handed a slip of paper by the coaching staff with an analysis of where each player usually put his shot.
Lehmann saved two of the penalties and Germany won the shootout 4-2, after the match had finished 1-1 at the end of 120 minutes.
The preparation was done, as usual, by Germany's chief scout Urs Siegenthaler, a Swiss who may well be the hardest working man at this World Cup.
'Before both our knockout games against Sweden and Argentina we gave Lehmann information on the possible penalty takers,' team manager Oliver Bierhoff said at a news conference on Saturday.
'Lehmann saw videos of all the penalties Argentina have taken in the past two years, with a list of the specific types of penalty the players usually take.
'He then had to briefly consult the notes with (goalkeeping coach) Andreas Koepke, because you never know until the shootout who will be on the list.'
Bierhoff added: 'We then just told him to save two penalties, in case he forgot.'
Germany next face Italy in the semi-finals in Dortmund on Tuesday.