Durban: Germany missed the attacking thrust of the suspended Thomas Mueller in the World Cup semifinals on Wednesday, creating few chances before losing 1-0 to a dominant Spain.
Mueller, who scored four goals in the tournament, was suspended after picking up his second yellow card in the quarterfinal win over Argentina.
Germany coach Joachim Loew was unable to find a winning strategy similar to the game plans that sank England and Argentina.
The Germans were unable to force Spain into making mistakes, which is what Loew had said would be the way to beat the European champions. Spain was simply the better team, as it was when it beat Germany 1-0 in the European Championship final two years ago.