ROUND OF 16
GERMANY 2-1 ALGERIA
AFTER EXTRA TIME
MONDAY 30TH JUNE – PORTO ALEGRE
It took thirty of minutes of extra time to split Germany and massive underdogs Algeria. Die Mannschaft ended up prevailing 2-1 but the North Africans left everything on the pitch and can go home with their heads held high.
No less than seven Bayern players started this game, with Joachim Loew’s side huge favourites to book their place in the quarter-finals.
The game flew into life just nine minutes in though, the usually composed Manuel Neuer rushing 30 yards out of goal, having to slide tackle Slimani expertly to stem any danger.
That scare woke up the Germans though, and Kroos combined well with Schweinsteiger before the latter unleashed a drive with Mbolhi did well to keep out.
Halilhodzic’s team certainly didn’t sit back after that scare though, just two minutes later they had the ball in the net, Soudani’s ball swept home by Slimani, only to see delight turn to anguish as the official raised his flag for offside.
Loew was incensed, and rightly so, again the Desert Foxes broke through and Ghoulam sent a shot whizzing past Neuer’s post. Porto Alegre had a game on its hands here, and the Germans knew it.
The back five of Algeria were proving hard to break down, the Germans were struggling to find Muller in the centre and the likes of Ozil and Kroos had no time to rip teams apart as they so often do.
Algeria continued their assault on the Europeans though, Feghouli saw a free-kick fly over the bar before Mandi’s long range effort was deflected inches wide with Neuer stranded.
The German side certainly needed shaking up, and Schurrle was the man that came on, making an instant impact – striking a Muller lay-off just wide via the heels of the defender. Mustafi should have done better from the corner, as his tame header was easily stopped by Mbolhi in the Algerian goal.
A sense of urgency was emanating from Loew’s side now, Kroos, Muller, and Lahm combined, the full back-cum-centre midfielder unleashing a powerful drive which the ‘keeper did superbly to tip away.
This seemed like a game crying out for Miroslav Klose to break the record, but they were forced into a defensive change, Mustafi making way for Khedira, with Lahm the remedy for the right-back spot.
Many had pinpointed the German defence as the weak spot, and that proved correct as Neuer was forced to play sweeper-keeper again, heading the ball away from outside his area.
His opposite number was in just as fine form himself, finally the Algerian defence was parted with a superb Khedira ball, but Muller’s header was somehow clawed away, with the rebound diverted out for a corner.
10 minutes remained as Die Mannschaft stepped up a gear, again Muller creating the chance, his control was superb, his turn as good, but he skewed the effort wide with the goal at his mercy.
As we ticked into injury time, Loews side had one final chance, this time Lahm picking out Schweinsteiger, completed unmarked, only to see his header lack pace, as it was saved easily by the Algerian ‘keeper. That save ensured the extra-time that Halilhodzic’s side certainly deserved.
It was perhaps typical of the beautiful game as to what happened next though, 90 minutes of toil undone in a minute, as Muller’s low cross was diverted home skilfully by Schurrle, as a nations hopes were dashed.
After some unselfish play by Muller and Schurrle a second was added by Ozil in the closing stages. From the kick off, Algeria grabbed a consolation via Djabou. Germany go on to play France, but Les Bleus will fancy their chances as Algeria showed a lot of weaknesses in the German mantle tonight.
GERMANY: Neuer, Mustafi (Khedira 70), Mertesacker, Boateng, Höwedes, Lahm, Schweinsteiger (Kramer 109), Özil, Kroos, Götze (Schürrle 46), Müller.
GOALS: Schürrle 92, Özil 119.
BOOKINGS: Lahm 107.
ALGERIA: M’Bolhi, Ghoulam, Belkalem, Halliche (Bougherra 97), Lacen, Feghouli, Slimani, Soudani (Djabou 100), Taider (Brajimi 78), Mandi, Mostefa.
GOALS: Djabou 120.
BOOKINGS: Halliche 42.
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