Well it wasn’t easy, but Germany have advanced to the quarterfinals yet again, after beating Algeria 2-1 in Porto Alegre on Monday.
After a first half in which they were having a hard time dealing with the Algerian counterattack, the Germans were calmer on the ball in the second half and 30 minutes of extra time, after it finished scoreless in regulation. This gave them control in the game and allowed them to attack the Algerian goal with more ferocity.
Die Mannschaft finished the game with 18 more shots than the Fennec Foxes and 10 more on target. Really all they needed was one though as it came in the 92nd minute when Thomas Muller was able to find Andre Schurrle on the near post. The end result was Germany taking a 1-0 lead that they held on to for 28 more minutes.
They will meet France on July 4th in Rio de Janeiro.
SPECTACULAR SCHURRLE The breakthrough came just 90 seconds into extratime. Halftime substitute Schurrle finished off a Muller cross in style. He dragged his left foot behind him, backheeling the ball into the back of the net. It was the 26th goal by a substitute in the tournament, adding to the most ever in a World Cup.
André Schürrle scores Germany's first extra-time World Cup goal since 1982 (Klaus Fischer).— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) June 30, 2014
KHEDIRA-MULLER ESP: With Shkodran Mustafi leaving the game in the 70th minute due to injury, Sami Khedira was brought on to marshal the center of midfield. This placed Philipp Lahm back at his usual right back spot. After a sluggish first two games of the tournament, and being benched in the third, Khedira was an instant spark against the Foxes. His 80th minute cross gave Muller a golden chance to add to his impressive scoring tally but the 24-year-old headed the ball straight at the ‘keeper, allowing him to make the necessary save. Two minutes later Khedira set up Muller again on a long ball from midfield with this one ending with a shot off target.
LATE FIREWORKS: The game did not end in a whimper as both teams scored in the final three minutes. Mesut Ozil finished off a German attack on an empty net in the 119th minute while Islam Slimani was finally able to get the Algerians on the scoreboard in the 121st minute, finishing off a Sofiane Feghouli cross.
FUMBLEROOSKI? A lighter moment came late in the game when Germany were setting up for a free kick in a dangerous area. After one fake, Muller ran up to the ball and tripped, spilling himself across the field. But was it intentional? It sure looked like Toni Kroos was trying to pass to him.
Thomas Mueller was going to head that free kick into the net no matter how weird you think his plans are— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) June 30, 2014
FOXES ATTACK: Although it was the Germans who had the best chance in the first half, Algeria looked more dangerous attacking throughout the half. The Algerians attacked the slow-footed German backline in transition, causing havoc for Manuel Neuer. The goalkeeper was forced off his line and out of the box multiple times throughout the half. Die Mannschaft’s best chance came on a rebound in the 41st minute when Mario Gotze was unable to complete a nutmeg on Rais M'Bolhi.
#ALG counter as good as any team at the World Cup. Incredible in transition.— Cristian Nyari (@Cnyari) June 30, 2014
LINEUP CHANGES: If you are Vahid Halihodzic and your team just advanced to the knockout round for the first time with a thrilling a 1-1 draw against Russia, you would probably keep the same starting lineup for your next game against Germany, right? Well that’s not what the Bosnian decided to do. The Algerian coach made five changes to the starting lineup from the Russia game. This was not something all that out of the ordinary though, as 16 different players started a game during the group stage.
I have Algeria lineup questions. But so far they've pretty much totally nailed their tactics, and shown lots of flexibility. So we'll see.— Mike L. Goodman (@TheM_L_G) June 30, 2014
MAN OF THE MATCH: Manuel Neuer, goalkeeper, Germany – The Bayern Munich star showed again why he is one of the top goalkeepers in the world, despite having to make just two saves. His footwork and ability to come off of his line were constantly on display, making up for any mistakes his defenders lack of awareness at times.
Not sure I have ever seen a keeper have a more influential game without really making saves— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) June 30, 2014