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Germany edge out Algeria

Müller & Co through to last eight

Müller to Schürrle, goal - that move paved Germany’s way through to the quarter-finals at Brazil 2014, although the Europeans were made to work hard by plucky Algeria to secure a 2-1 win in extra time on Monday night. Thomas Müller provided the assist for André Schürrle to open Germany’s account on 92 minutes with Mesut Özil adding a second just before the final whistle (119). Algeria registered a consolation goal through Abdelmoumene Djabou on 121 minutes.

“You have to play extra time if you don’t take your chances. We missed some sitters in the second half. But we knew it was going to be tough before the match and that’s what happened today,” said Philipp Lahm. Germany coach Joachim Löw added: “At the end of the day we won through sheer determination. We played badly in the first half. But then we got on top and we should have won in 90 minutes.”

All seven Bayern players were in Germany’s starting eleven for the first time at the World Cup in the cool temperatures of Porto Alegre. Löw preferred Bastian Schweinsteiger in place of Sami Khedira in midfield. Jérôme Boateng moved into central defence to cover for absentee Mats Hummels and he was certainly busier than he might have hoped in the first 45 minutes.

Goals in extra time

Algeria proved a real handful on the night. The North Africans closed down space quickly and often posed a threat on the break. The ever-alert Manuel Neuer was forced to come out of his box to clear on a number of occasions and the side ranked 22nd in the world twice went close to taking the lead on 18 and 39 minutes. At the other end, Schweinsteiger (14), Müller (35), Toni Kroos and Mario Götze (both on 41 minutes) were unable to make the most of the few chances that came Germany’s way.

It was a different story after the restart as Germany took control of the game and pressed for the elusive opening goal. Goalscoring opportunities came and went for Lahm (55), who played at right-back after Shkodran Mustafi was carried off injured on 70 minutes, Schweinsteiger (79, 90) and Müller (80, 82). The opener came in extra time through Schürrle who came off the bench to replace Götze on 45 minutes.

Müller (99) could have extended the lead. Mehdi Mostefa threatened for Algeria on 101 minutes and Özil sealed the victory with the second goal for Germany on 119 minutes. Algeria then went up the other end and Djabou netted a consolation goal a minute into added time. That was the end of the goalscoring and Germany were able to celebrate reaching the last eight yet again. Müller & Co are back in action in the quarter-finals on Friday when they take on France, who beat Nigeria 2-0 in the Round of 16 - “a tough task,” declared Neuer, “we need to recover quickly.”