Germany sink Algeria

2014-07-01 01:07
Mesut Ozil (Supplied)

Cape Town - Germany booked their place in the World Cup quarter-finals following a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Algeria in Porto Alegre on Monday night.

As it happened: Germany v Algeria

Following a goalless first period Germany claimed the lead in the second minute of extra time through Andre Schurrle before Mesut Ozil doubled their advantage with a late goal.

Abdelmoumene Djabou managed to pull one back for Algeria in the final minute but it was nothing more than a consolation as the referee blew his whistle for the last time.

The first half provided plenty of entertainment as Algeria started at a high tempo and went on to maintain it for much of the 45 minutes.

Algeria striker Islam Slimani was causing Germany centre-backs Per Mertesacker and Jerome Boateng plenty of problems early on, with his searing pace causing goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to rush out of his area several times to snuff out the danger.

Neuer was first called into action in the ninth minute, making a last-ditch tackle to dispossess Slimani after the striker had broken free of the defence.

Mertesacker was also facing some stern scrutiny from Slimani, who looked break the offside trap once more in the 11th minute following a mistake from Jerome Boateng. However, the Arsenal defender managed to get a foot to the ball at the crucial moment, before passing to safety.

Germany's first chance of note arrived on 14 minutes, Bastian Schweinsteiger seeing his powerful left-footed effort saved by Rais Mbolhi in the Algeria goal.

Algeria didn't ease up at the opposite end of the pitch, though, with Slimani's headed goal ruled offside before Sofiane Feghouli fired over with a powerful effort from a tight angle.

Germany's top scorer, Thomas Muller, had been quiet up until this point but very nearly gave his side the lead on 23 minutes as he headed just over from Mesut Ozil's inswinging cross.

And just moments later Ozil went close to finding the net, his cross-cum-shot forcing Mbolhi to tip the ball behind for a corner.

The Desert Warriors were a constant threat, though, and their quick counter-attacks would continue to trouble the German defence.

Germany were again caught far up in the pitch in the 28th minute as Sofiane Feghouli went chasing after a long ball over the top. However, Neuer raced out of his area before sliding the ball clear of danger at the last moment.

The match continued a tremendous pace, with chances coming thick and fast at both ends of the pitch.

Feghouli curled a free-kick over from 25 yards, while Muller again failed to find the mark with a headed effort.

Ozil almost broke the deadlock on 36 minutes but his low shot was palmed to safety by Mbolhi, as Germany began to get to grips with their opponents.

Die Mannschaft's best chance arrived on 41 minutes but Mbolhi did well to first deny Toni Kroos' dipping shot before blocking the shot on the rebound from Mario Gotze.

Whatever words manager Joachim Low had for his side at half-time they most certainly had the desired effect, as the Germans came flying out of the traps at the start of the second half.

Andre Schurrle was brought on in place of Mario Gotze and his introduction appeared to provide the attacking spark they had missed in the first stanza.

Defender Shkodran Mustafi headed straight into the arms of Mbolhi in the 48th minute, while Muller had a penalty appeal turned down after being clattered in the box.

Germany continued to turn the screws and continued chance after chance, with Philipp Lahm forcing Mbolhi into a flying save in the 54th minute before Schurrle fired a wild shot over the bar from the right-hand side of the box.

Algeria created a rare chance in the 72nd minute after being forced to soak up the pressure for an extended period, but Neuer again came off his line to head the ball clear about 20 yards out of his goal.

And they attacked the German defence again two minutes later, with Slimani firing a stinging shot straight at Neuer.

Algeria were struggling to maintain the intensity of the first half and it showed, as Germany took the game by the scruff of the neck.

However, later efforts from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller couldn't beat Mbolhi in the Algeria goal, with the referee eventually drawing a thrilling opening 90 minutes to a close.

Algeria had played with the belief that this could be their night, but their hopes were dealt a hammer blow in the second minute of extra time as Muller beat his marker on the left flank before teeing up Schurrle, who managed to drag the ball back into the goal with a delicate back-heel.

The Fennec Foxes had a glorious opportunity to draw level on the 100-minute mark but Mehdi Mostefa was unable to take advantage, as he fired wide of the target from inside the penalty box.

Efforts from substitute Christoph Kramer and Muller went close to doubling Germany's advantage midway through the second half of extra-time as the pressure began to build in Porto Alegre.

The match-winning goal eventually arrived in the 119th minute after some brilliant build-up play involving Schurrle and Ozil.

Schurrle's blocked shot fell kindly for Germany and Ozil was on hand to slam the ball into the roof of the net from the left-hand side of the box.

Algeria responded magnificently after conceding the second, though, and netted a consolation goal on the stroke of full-time when Djabou arrived late in the box to head home a cross at the back post.

The result sees Germany setup up a mouthwatering clash with France in the quater-finals, while Algeria become the last African team to bow out of the 2014 edition of the tournament.

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