GERMANY 2 ALGERIA 1
(After extra time)
EXTRA-TIME goals from Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle and Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil saw Germany reach the World Cup quarter-finals for the 15th time in 16 tournaments at the expense of plucky Algeria.
The three-time winners advance to play France at the Maracana on Friday, but were given an almighty scare by the north African side, playing in their first ever World Cup knockout tie.
Germany were naturally deemed overwhelming favourites to see off Algeria in Porto Alegre, but were fortunate to be level at half-time after Faouzi Ghoulam had flashed an effort wide across goal. Meanwhile goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was on red alert, acting as a sweeper to rush from his goal on four occasions to thwart long probing passes and stifle Algerian attacks.
Neuer’s opposite number Rais M’Bolhi then took centre stage with a string of fine saves to deny Thomas Muller, Schurrle and Bastian Schweinsteiger, forcing the contest into extra time.
Just two minutes after the restart though, Germany made the breakthrough. Muller, with four goals in the tournament so far, sent a low cross in from the left flank which Schurrle turned in with the in-step of his left foot.
Algeria refused to roll over despite obvious fatigue until Ozil struck with one minute remaining after Schurrle’s initial effort had been blocked on the line by covering defender Essaid Belkalem.
With virtually the last action of the game Algeria bagged a deserved consolation when substitute Abdelmoumene Djabou met Sofiane Feghouli’s deep cross and arrowed in a volley at the far post.