Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

FIFA World Cup: Germany beat brave Algeria 2-1 in extra time

Germany's Andre Schuerrle, right, scores the opening goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Germany and Algeria. (Source: AP ) Germany's Andre Schuerrle, right, scores the opening goal during their World Cup round of 16 match against Algeria. (Source: AP )
Reuters | Brazil | Posted: July 1, 2014 5:41 am | Updated: July 1, 2014 10:13 am

Germany were pushed all the way by an inspired Algeria on Monday before Andre Schuerrle and Mesut Ozil secured them a 2-1 extra-time victory to send them into a mouth-watering World Cup quarter-final meeting with France.

The North African outsiders played with energy and confidence to regularly expose a static German defence but in the end the European team’s power and fitness counted.

With the score 0-0 at full-time, substitute Schuerrle flicked in a low-cross from Thomas Mueller. Ozil buried the Algerian dream in the last minute – but in a final moment of drama, Abdelmoumene Djabou grabbed a consolation goal for the brave Algerians just before the final whistle.

“We showed the whole world that Algeria has a great team Now people around the world will have seen our qualities,” defender Madjid Bougherra told German television.

The victory extended Germany’s remarkable record of reaching at least the quarter-finals in every World Cup they have entered since 1938 and gave them their first win in three attempts against Algeria, who were playing in the last-16 for the first time.

“We would have preferred to have won this differently. The Algerians did a good job, they disrupted us from the start and didn’t let us get into our game,” Schuerrle said.

“But it doesn’t matter how we won, the important thing is that we’re in the quarter-finals now against France.”

The result also denied Algeria, who famously beat West Germany in a 1982 World Cup group game, revenge for the so-called “Disgrace of Gijon”. After the Algerian victory, West Germany secured a narrow win over Austria in a farcical, half-hearted game which saw both of them go through at Algeria’s expense.

That history weighed heavy on Monday’s clash in Porto Alegre, with Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic saying it would motivate the “Desert Foxes”. For the first half at least, it looked like they might have that revenge.

LACK OF INSPIRATION

Germany, playing in all-white, took a long time getting into  their stride at the Beira Rio stadium and seemed to lack inspiration, with most of the thrills coming from swift Algerian counter-attacks.

The Germans tried to find Mueller – scorer of nine goals in his nine previous World Cup matches – in early probes but the passes were just too far ahead of him as he ran goal-wards.

Algeria, in an all-green strip, showed just what a threat they posed early on when Islam Slimani broke down the left and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer charged out of the box to cut him off. A few minutes later Sofiane Feghouli cut in nicely from the right but his shot went astray. Slimani hit the net with a diving header from a cross in the 16th minute but was ruled offside.

Algeria continued…

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